PLYMOUTH, Mich., May 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Freudenberg-NOK's annual Walk for Wellness began yesterday with wellness fairs at the company's 25 participating facilities across the country. The fifth annual event, which has grown in both size and scope since its inception, is aimed at motivating associates to adopt a proactive approach to their well-being. "The Walk for Wellness program is a really great way to get associates excited about adopting a healthier lifestyle," said Sarah O'Hare, vice president of human resources and public relations. "The benefits are extensive on both a personal and a business level. Our employees adopt a positive approach to their health, which drastically helps the company tackle the rising cost of healthcare." Interested associates registered to participate during the kick-off wellness fairs hosted onsite at participating facilities. During the fairs, several facilities offered blood pressure testing, glucose testing and body mass screening. During the three-month program, associates submit a record of their total miles on a weekly basis achieved through walking or an equivalent exercise. This year's corporate-wide goal has been raised to 12 miles per week per participant, with incentives given to individuals at 100-, 175- and 250-mile increments. In addition to the second annual "Wellness Walker" award, which is presented to the most dedicated participant, this year's program provides additional opportunities for associates to win prizes. The "Most Improved Performer" award has been introduced to recognize the top three participants who have the greatest improvement over their 2005 performance. Winners will be awarded iPod nano MP3 players. This year also introduces the "Healthy Program" award. An iPod nano MP3 player will be awarded to three Walk for Wellness coordinators with the "healthiest" program. Freudenberg-NOK's corporate human resources department will assess each program and make a decision based on each facility's participation and headcount, average number of miles submitted per participant per week and one innovative idea that they implemented to make their program unique. All prizes will be awarded during the wrap-up parties at each facility at the conclusion of the program. Founded in 1989, Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership is a joint venture between Freudenberg & Co. of Germany and NOK Corp. of Japan. Freudenberg-NOK is a leader in automotive sealing and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) products and is a supplier to all automakers producing in North America, as well as all major tier one chassis and drivetrain suppliers. The company's headquarters and technical center in Plymouth, Mich. houses the most extensive supplier-operated sealing and noise and vibration testing facility in North America. Freudenberg-NOK offers its automotive customers globally integrated products, including sealing packages for transmissions, engines, brakes, axles and steering, NVH components and packages, and all rubber, plastic and PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) components for suspension, electrical and fuel systems. The company also offers an extensive portfolio of special precision seals for the aerospace, appliance, business machine, fluid power, marine, medical, off-highway equipment and recreational vehicle markets. For more information, visit the Freudenberg-NOK website at http://www.freudenberg-nok.com .