Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman met Oct. 2 with state workers who have reached their walking goal of 360,000 steps.

Wellness Plan Stays on Track

More than 70 state employees have walked more than 1 million steps so far. Gov. Dave Heineman met Oct. 2 with state workers who have reached their walking goal of 360,000 steps.

Nebraska's state employees are on track to meet the state's ambitious goal of having 35 percent of employees enroll in the Walk This Way wellness plan promoted by Gov. Dave Heineman. Heineman met last week in Lincoln with state employees who have met or exceeded their walking goal of 360,000 steps by March 31, 2010; more than 70 employees have walked more than 1 million steps.

"Employees are demonstrating good progress with the wellness program," Heineman said. "Activities such as our walking program help state employees lead more healthy and active lives, something all Nebraskans can strive for. Congratulations are due to those leading by example."

The program began July 6. Heineman's office said participating employees are averaging more than 436,000 steps and, as a group, have walked about 254,000 miles.

The program boosts employee' activity level and health, promoting weight loss, reduced stress, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, and more energy. So far, 3,594 employees -- 26 percent of all state workers -- are enrolled in the Wellness PPO plan and 2,540 employees enrolled in the Walk This Way program, which is one of three programs in the plan. The others are a Health Coaching program, with 2,578 employees enrolled, and a Condition Management coaching program, which focuses on seven chronic areas associated with heart and respiratory conditions, depression, diabetes, and back pain and has 93 employees enrolled.

Heineman recently announced 27 companies around the state are 2009 winners of the Governor's Excellence in Wellness Awards. The award was created to recognize Nebraska employers that have developed successful models for encouraging wellness at work. Winners from the Lincoln and Omaha area will be recognized during a Work Well Luncheon in Lincoln on Oct. 27. Winners include Creighton University, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Lincoln, Nebraska Bankers Association, Nebraska Risk Management Association Inc., Pfizer Inc. in Lincoln, Monsanto Company of Kearney, and the YMCA of Greater Omaha.

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