Litchfield Chamber Offers BizicallyFIT™ Portal to Members

The Litchfield Chamber of Commerce is among the first in the state to offer the BizicallyFIT™ portal, a robust new program that will offer area businesses the information and tools they need to seize the benefits of workplace wellness. Seventy-five percent of employers’ health care costs are related to employee lifestyle choices and forward-thinking employers of all sizes are taking steps to help employees embrace healthier lifestyles. The BizicallyFIT™ portal is powered by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota and accessible to Chamber members directly through the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce Website.

“Our members know the value of healthier lifestyles among employees,” says Litchfield Chamber of Commerce President Dee Schutte. “Incorporating BizicallyFIT™ into our Chamber membership, we offer members a central place for conversation, sharing their own experience and learning best practices from others on how to start or strengthen a workplace wellness program.”

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Burnsville Chamber Offers BizicallyFIT™ Portal to Members

The Burnsville Chamber of Commerce is among the first in the state to offer the BizicallyFIT™ portal, a robust new program that will offer area businesses the information and tools they need to seize the benefits of workplace wellness. Seventy-five percent of employers’ health care costs are related to employee lifestyle choices and forward-thinking employers of all sizes are taking steps to help employees embrace healthier lifestyles. The BizicallyFIT™ portal is powered by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota and accessible to Chamber members directly through the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce website.

“Over the past several years, health care costs have been a serious issue for our members,” says Burnsville Chamber President Daron Van Helden. “We are excited to offer the BizicallyFIT™ portal to our members with information from peers and experts on how best to encourage healthy lifestyle choices among employees. Our goal is to give our members the tools to help decrease their health care costs.”

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Hibbing Chamber Offers BizicallyFIT™ Portal to Members

The Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce is among the first in the state to offer the BizicallyFIT™ portal, a robust new program that will offer area businesses the information and tools they need to seize the benefits of workplace wellness. Seventy-five percent of employers’ health care costs are related to employee lifestyle choices and forward-thinking employers of all sizes are taking steps to help employees embrace healthier lifestyles. The BizicallyFIT™ portal is powered by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota and accessible to chamber members directly through the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce website.

“Over the past several years, health care costs have been a serious issue for our members,” says Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce President Lory Fedo. “We’re proud to lead the way as a BizicallyFIT™ early adopter, offering our members the right solutions to encourage healthier behaviors among their employees.”

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Ole Exercisers Top Wellness Competition

Many St. Olaf College employees are enthusiastic about working out, and they demonstrated that passion to Minnesota by winning first place in exercise for the Colleges and Universities Division. Accustomed to participating in a spring walking program, college staff instead directed their energy to exercising and tracking their accomplishments through the 2011 Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge.

“I think people probably worked out a little more during the challenge,” says Jennie Moberg, captain for St. Olaf’s Information and Instructional Technologies team, who says tracking her exercise helped her stay focused on fitness. “It’s easier to get motivated when you have that visual graph to compare your exercise level from week to week.”
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A Powerful Combo: Getting Healthy and Giving Back

For Seagate Technology, the 2011 Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge was both a wellness competition and an exercise in team-building and philanthropy. The disk-drive manufacturer used the contest to encourage employees to focus on healthy behaviors while also giving back to the community. Seagate saw great results: the company’s nine teams lost a total of 1,346 pounds.

“When employees participate in physical activity and wellness practice, the impact on employee health, attitude, and camaraderie is obvious,” says David Brown, chief technologist and a member of the site’s executive management team. “We are proud of our success in the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge and will continue to support healthy behaviors at our worksite.”
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Oh, Snap! Four Weight Losers Win Free Gym Memberships

OH, SNAP! FOUR WEIGHT LOSERS WIN FREE GYM MEMBERSHIPS

White Bear Lake woman earns a one-year Snap Fitness membership by exercising, eating right, and losing weight during statewide competition.

WHITE BEAR LAKE – A broken ankle and a sweet tooth didn’t stop Cindi Rulli from making great strides toward meeting her health and fitness goals during the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge. Now Rulli will have a new tool to continue her healthy lifestyle: she won one of four free memberships to Snap Fitness by placing in the top 1,000 in the weight loss, nutrition, or exercise categories of the statewide competition.

The Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge “was a great experience, and I look forward to using my membership,” says Rulli, who runs, inline skates, and horseback rides to stay fit. During the competition, she lost 11 pounds or 8 percent of her body weight. “I’m feeling healthy, and it’s fun to buy clothes in small sizes.”
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Medical Resident Dominates the Colleges and Universities Division

MEDICAL RESIDENT DOMINATES THE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES DIVISION

The Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge inspires 22,000 Minnesotans to lose 76,048 pounds.

BROOKLYN PARK – John Paul Pham of Brooklyn Park knew that when he became a doctor, his patients would turn to him for advice on getting and staying healthy. Hearing about the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge, he thought it would be the perfect way to get fit while also training for a marathon. Along the way to meeting those goals Pham, an alumnus of the University of Minnesota, captured first place in the Colleges and Universities Division, winning both the nutrition and weight loss category, dropping nine percent of his body weight and earning 15,545 points for minutes and intensity of exercise.

“I wanted to be a better role model for my future patients,” says Pham, who is heading to California for his medical residency. Though he struggled to balance eating less while exercising more, Pham mastered some new strategies for success during the competition. “I eventually learned to eat half of my food at the restaurant and box half for a later meal.”
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40 Pounds Down, He’s Dreaming Big Dreams

Matthew Bayer after losing 40 pounds in the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge. Congratulations, Matthew!

40 POUNDS DOWN, HE’S DREAMING BIG DREAMS

College employee discovers the secret to his weight loss success through the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge.

APPLE VALLEY – Matthew Bayer of Apple Valley often dreamt of a career in law enforcement, but his weight repeatedly held him back. Thanks to the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge and the support of his family member teammates, he’s on his way to putting that dream in reach. Bayer lost 40 pounds during the wellness competition, earning a spot as one of the Top 50 weight losers in the state.

“My goal is to be healthy and fit enough to do law enforcement work. That’s a huge motivator for me that I do not think will ever leave,” says Bayer, 31, a safety coordinator at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. “Even though I have lost a good amount of weight just in the first three to four months, I have a long way to go.”

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Losing Weight and Winning, Landscape Structures Style

Landscape Structures team at their final weigh-in for the Minnesota Challenge.

LOSING WEIGHT AND WINNING, LANDSCAPE STRUCTURES STYLE

Six company employees ranked in the top 50 statewide for weight loss during the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge.

DELANO – As a designer of large-scale playground equipment, Landscape Structures, Inc., has strongly emphasized employee wellness during its 40-year history. It’s no stranger to weight loss competitions, so joining this year’s statewide Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge was a no-brainer. This time the staff really rose to the task: six employees ranked in the top 50 for pounds of weight loss statewide, including the first, second, and sixth place finishers, shedding as much as 60 pounds.

“We wanted to see how we can do as a company compared to the rest of Minnesota. It was so successful here and people really came together and supported each other. It was amazing to see,” says Holly Williams, human resources and wellness program manager at Landscape Structures, which has an onsite nurse and personal trainer.
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Agriculture Sector Shares Insights on Health Care Costs

Focus group provides real-world clarity on health care costs

The high costs of employee health benefits continue to be a serious concern for business, including the agriculture sector. A group of individuals representing eight agriculture organizations told researchers at the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota that the agriculture sector has many of the same concerns as other business sectors, with some unique challenges as well.

“Despite the fact that agriculture is a unique and often under-appreciated sector of our economy, they look to find solutions to many of the same issues as other businesses, because they are running businesses,” says Matt Hughes, Executive Director of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota’s Small Business Alliance.

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