HARRISBURG, Pa., and DENVER, Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthAmerica and CaféWellTM today announced that the Race to the Moon* wellness challenge, sponsored by HealthAmerica, is off to a fast start with Race participants walking 208 million steps in just the first two month.
"Since the Race to the Moon officially kicked off in mid-October, participants have walked or run more than 89,000 miles, more than a third of the way to the moon," said Scott Rotermund, a founder of CaféWell and president of its parent company, WellTok®, Inc. "With three more months to go in the program, we look forward to seeing just how far people can go. And there is still room in the program for people to join, get a free pedometer, get walking, and win prizes."
Feedback from participants in Pennsylvania demonstrates that the program is both fun and effective
"I was gaining weight since my wife has been pregnant," said participant Rick Sanger of Mechanicsburg. "I love getting so much exercise, it's starting to make a difference. I know I want to be in the top of the pack, so it motivates me to keep working harder. I love getting the badges and I love racing against others to the moon!"
Jonathan Leister of Telford reported, "I definitely want to lose some weight and become more active, but for me it's also about feeling more comfortable in my own skin. This program has really helped to keep me active, and it really is helpful to know that there is a network of people supporting and challenging you."
"I'm in first place for this week's challenge, said Chris Belville of Jeannette. "I have just under 110,000 steps this week! I really want to become more fit, begin to eat better, and lose about five to eight pounds."
Levi Wilson of Arnold noted, "My definition of success is that I'm walking more. I use my breaks at work to do laps around the place. My goal is to start walking more and to try to stay in the best shape I can."
"I define success in several ways," added Pamela Zemaitis of New Cumberland. "The number of steps I take has been an important part of this program. I am a competitive person by nature so I like seeing how I am doing against the others. Another way I measure success is by my lifestyle changes. I park further away, I take the steps, I go to the gym 90% more than I did before this program and I feel better."
Speaking about all the success stories, Rotermund added, "This is a very new, innovative wellness program that HealthAmerica is piloting. Both the numerical results and the individual success stories we hear are proving out the value of this new type of wellness program."
Turning The Tide on Fitness and Health
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that 37 percent of adults report they are not physically active and only 3 in 10 adults get the recommended amount of physical activity. Americans are the world's third largest consumers of sugar, about 88 pounds per year. From these statistics, Americans' rapidly growing obesity epidemic is hardly a surprise.
While the use of financial rewards in health management programs has grown, a recent study by Towers Watson notes that the use of penalties grew twice as fast, with more than a third of responding employers reporting that they will have health penalties in place in 2012.
HealthAmerica and CaféWell believe that the power of social networks can be a more positive approach.
Race to the Moon represents a new breed of wellness program that is more fun, more rewarding and more effective for consumers because it leverages the power and support of social networking with incentives and fun.
People's personal social networks have been proven to exert powerful influences on their health behavior. CaféWell and HealthAmerica are at the leading edge of creating and directing that social network power in promoting fitness and health. CaféWell works like a fusion engine, creating the social interactions that make the program successful for the participants and for the sponsor.
About Race to the Moon
Race to the Moon is a new statewide wellness program for HealthAmerica members to promote fitness and better health. Through accumulated participant miles, the goal is to collectively walk the 238,857-mile distance to the moon. Race to the Moon offers its participants free pedometers, numerous chances to win prizes, and fun activities, such as challenges with co-workers, family members or other Race participants.
Race to the Moon is open to 150,000 small group and individual HealthAmerica members across Pennsylvania, with primary concentrations in south central Pennsylvania, Erie and Pittsburgh areas. It is also open to HealthAmerica members residing in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia.
Participants join Race to the Moon and track their progress through HealthAmerica's social health network partner, CaféWell. To make Race to the Moon easy and fun, participants receive free wireless pedometers that sync automatically through their home computers and log their steps achieved through everyday activity and exercise.
Along the way, participants can win prizes including Entertainment Book® coupons, Amazon.com Gift Cards**, HDTVs with activity game systems, or one of two grand prize trips for two with outdoor adventures in Hawaii.
In CaféWell, members can participate in health challenges with family and co-workers, get advice from Olympic athletes, share experiences and ideas with other participants and track their progress in the Race to the Moon. The program runs through March 2012.
With nearly 40 years of providing health care benefits, HealthAmerica has earned a reputation as one of the most trusted and experienced health insurers in Pennsylvania. The company ranks among the highest rated health plans in the nation for HMO and POS plans by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.* Its Medicare plan, HealthAmerica Advantra, ranks 24 out of 341 Medicare plans evaluated nationwide, ranking second in the state and among the top 25 health plans in the nation.***
HealthAmerica provides a range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products, including self-funded, Medicare, Medicaid, indemnity, nongroup, and pharmacy plans. It currently has "Excellent" accreditation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for its commercial HMO, POS, and Medicare plans. HealthAmerica's corporate offices are in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit HealthAmerica's website at www.healthamerica.cvty.com.
About CaféWell and WellTok®, Inc.
CaféWell is a social health network that makes getting better connected to your health and fitness more fun and more rewarding. CaféWell provides one stop for consumers' health, wellness and fitness -- including social networking; advice from experts, peers and veteran professional athletes; fun health challenges with family members and co-workers; and reliable health and fitness information. Through CaféWell, sponsors can offer rewards and incentives to promote activity and health improvement. Users control the degree to which their identity is shared, with complete anonymity as the default. To learn more about CaféWell, visit www.cafewell.com or call 888.935.5865.
WellTok is pioneering Social Health ManagementTM (SMH), the complete social networking solution for healthcare population managers. WellTok's SHM suite provides a complete solution, including the industry's most engaging social health network, CaféWell, broad member and group analytics, and integration with healthcare payers and providers' corporate systems and MLR requirements. WellTok, Inc. is headquartered in Denver, Colo. http://www.welltok.com
For HealthAmerica and Race to the Moon
* No purchase necessary. Promotion starts 9/22/11. Open to legal residents of DE, MD, NJ, OH, WV or PA who are 18 years of age or older. Legal residents of OH and WV are not eligible to participate in the RTM Early Bird Sweepstakes. Void where prohibited. Subject to full Official Rules at rewards.cafewell.com/moonrace/rules. Sponsor: WellTok, Inc., 1530 15th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202.
**Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, GCs cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods on Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued and ©2011 by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. ©,®,™ Amazon.com Inc. and/or its affiliates.
*** NCQA's "Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2011-12 - Medicare
SOURCE WellTok, Inc.