Connexus Energy Wellness Program Helps Team Rank First in Alliance-Sponsored Health Challenge

The Biggest Winners team poses with the Connexus Energy logo. From back left: Janelle Albrecht, Janis Anderson, Tammy Ferguson, Mike Rajala, Jennifer Sweeney, Kathy Zingler, Leone' Sweeney, Liz Daker and Brian Lambertz.

Employees of Ramsey-area Connexus Energy earn first place in Exercise Minutes category of BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge

With support from their company’s top leadership, a team of coworkers from Ramsey-based Connexus Energy – the “Biggest Winners” — took the top spot in exercise minutes, in the just-concluded BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge, sponsored by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota. The team beat our more than 1,600 teams and more than 10,000 participants throughout the state.

Eighty-seven of the energy cooperative’s 210 employees joined the statewide health challenge, many of them for the second year in a row following last year’s Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge. Together, the Connexus Energy teams exercised 293,679 minutes and walked 46,205,318 steps over the course of the 12-week Challenge, an average of 40 minutes and 7,535 steps per person per day.

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BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge: Two Hennepin County Employee Teams Win Competition’s Exercise and Weight Loss Categories

In Minneapolis, Hennepin County Government employees win two out of three competition categories.

Two teams meet during Hennepin Walking Group's 5K walk through the Minneapolis skyways.

When the BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge kicked off this past February, Hennepin County employees were ready. A total of 1,086 individuals competed in the Challenge on Hennepin County Government teams. By the time it ended on May 6, they had exercised 1,764,465 minutes and walked 248,050,732 steps – enough to walk around the earth’s equator 3.78 times.

Two teams from Hennepin County Government earned a first place ranking in the Exercise and Weight Loss divisions, surpassing 10,000 other participants on more than 1,600 other teams. The “Henn Fair” team placed first in Weight Loss with an average of 9.3 percent weight loss over the course of the competition—a percentage that would bring a 215-pound person down to 195. Hennepin County’s “Skywalkers” ranked first in Exercise with a team average of 88 minutes of exercise per day. The Skywalkers team’s three women and three men walked, biked, ran, gardened and broke a sweat on the local softball field as much as they could. While family events and travel posed challenges for some at times, the team continued to fit in exercise wherever and whenever it could.

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BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge: Hennepin County Government Team Wins in Exercise Category

Team captain Steve Compton attributes success to more walking, better eating habits and a healthy spirit of competition.

As the BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge drew to a close May 6, the six people on Hennepin County Government’s Skywalkers team were indeed walking a little lighter. Throughout the 12-week competition, the team had exercised an average 88 minutes per day—enough to snag first place in the Challenge’s Exercise category, which measures the minutes exercised by each team each week. In total, 10,000 participants on more than 1,600 teams competed in the Challenge.

“We are all a little thinner and likely a little stronger,” says Steve Compton, Skywalkers team captain. “I am really proud of the team’s efforts. Every individual was key to that success.”

The Skywalkers team’s three women and three men walked, biked, ran, gardened and broke a sweat on the local softball field as much as they could. While family events and travel posed challenges for some at times, the team continued to fit in exercise wherever and whenever it could. In part, Compton attributes his team’s enduring momentum to the competitive spirit fostered by the Challenge.

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BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge: Northern Minnesota Furnace Manufacturer wins in Pedometer Steps

Dream Team members, listed from back left: Madeline Waage, Derick Converse, Rob Mickelson, Eric Etherington, David McDonald, Keith Wheeler, Alietia Nygaard, Sean Sorteberg (team members not pictured: Shannon Converse, Alicia Spilde)

Employees teamed up to compete in statewide BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge with support from Central Boiler’s workplace wellness program.

The recent BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge lit a fire under Alietia Nygaard and her colleagues at Central Boiler in Greenbush, Minnesota. Nygaard’s 11-member team, called “Alietia’s Dream Team,” won first place in the Pedometer Steps division of the 2012 Health Challenge with a team average of 17,030 steps per day over the 12-week competition, beating 10,000 other participants on more than 1,600 other teams.

Nygaard and her team were among 88 individuals who joined the Challenge with coworkers from Central Boiler, an outdoor wood furnace manufacturer with more than 200 employees in Greenbush, Minnesota. To encourage 2012 Health Challenge participants, Central Boiler’s growing workplace wellness program spread the word and offered an intra-company leaderboard for participating teams. Each week, Central Boiler’s teams received an email that ranked each team from first to last in each category.

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Participants Shed More Than 20,000 Pounds in Alliance-Sponsored Health Challenge

Hennepin County, Connexus Energy and Central Boiler win first place in competition’s Weight Loss, Steps and Exercise categories

 

Minnesota employers and community organizations geared up for summer with the BizicallyFIT 2012 Health Challenge and earned incredible healthy lifestyle results.  Ten thousand Minnesotans from every corner of the state joined together with coworkers, friends and family to take extra steps, exercise more and drop some extra pounds, competing for online rankings and bragging rights. Together they lost 20,409 pounds, walked 1,610,427,079 steps and exercised 13,176,822 minutes. One lucky participant won the grand prize drawing, a free one-week stay at a Biggest Loser Resort.

“We’re very happy about the successes of Minnesotans who took time to engage in the BizicallyFIT 2012 Health Challenge,” says Tom Mason, president of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota. “It’s amazing how effective friendly competition and support from employers, coworkers, friends and family can in motivating people to adopt and maintain healthier habits.”

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Livestock feed manufacturer reduces health care premiums by 4% with wellness

Ralco employees enjoying healthy snacks at work

The Ralco Challenge 2009 Walking Program was born when Jon Knochenmus, president of the Marshall-based livestock feed manufacturer concluded that many years of double-digit annual increases for health insurance had become unsustainable. He decided to fight back through employee wellness.

Ralco started with a simple message: walking is good for your health. Each of its employees received bright green pedometers to count the number of steps they took each day. With participation from 90 percent of the company’s 120 employees, the hot green pedometers created buzz in the community. HR manager Shelly Gniffke  even received requests for pedometers from non-Ralco employees.  By the end of the 6-week program employees had tracked a total of 38,241,565 steps, roughly 14,500 miles – more than half way around the world.

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Minnesota Twist Drill renews commitment to wellness, sees early gains in employee health

When the economic downturn hit Hibbing-based Minnesota Twist Drill, employee wellness programming was among the first things to see the budget axe.

The previous program was fully coordinated by a consulting company, focused on Know Your Numbers biometric screening. Employees voiced appreciation for the programming and were disappointed to see it get eliminated.

Nearly three years later the cry for a wellness program grew louder. CEO Scott Allison, the company’s owners and HR Manager Jeannie Nobens decided to approach health in the workplace again. “We were looking at our rising health care costs, says Nobens. “And we want our employees to be happy.”

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Another Success Story

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Sample Success Story Article

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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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