Aetna Launches Team-Based Fitness and Nutrition Program that Uses Online Social Networking.

Aetna (NYSE:†AET) today announced a new team-based fitness and nutrition program for employers nationwide that uses online social networking to encourage people of all health and fitness levels to work together with their colleagues to achieve their optimal health. Powered by†Shape Up The Nation, Aetna Health Connections Get Active!SM is modeled after Aetnaís own Get Active Aetna employee program. The program has been exceptionally successful among Aetna’s own employees, with 57 percent of employees participating in the program in 2009.

“We all know the health benefits of losing weight, being more active, quitting smoking, eating a healthier diet and more, but many people donít know where to begin and the thought of doing it alone is often daunting,” said Lonny Reisman, M.D., Aetna’s chief medical officer. “Introducing a program to employees that includes a group dynamic has proven effective for motivating Aetnaís own employees to get healthy. In fact, many Aetna employees have shared amazing success stories about how the program helped them achieve and sustain healthy lifestyles. Now, Aetna is bringing this program to our customers so that other companies can enjoy the success that Aetna has had with its own employees.”

Kip Hill, an Aetna employee in Arlington, Texas, credits the program with helping him lose 120 pounds by eating better and exercising regularly. Hill has participated for three years and says, “It is such an important program. I’m a competitive person, so this makes exercise fun because you have teams and you are rooting each other on.” Now, just 40 pounds away from his goal weight, heís already met another important health goal Ė quitting smoking. “I love the program because it makes you think about how to fit exercise into your busy schedule and if you continue to do it all year long, you really see a difference.” Now, Hill is even more active, leading his son’s Cub Scout pack and once he reaches his goal weight, Hill says he hopes to enjoy a whole range of activities with his two sons, like karate, kickboxing and hiking.

Aetna Health Connections Get Active!
Powered by†Shape Up The Nation, a wellness company focused on leveraging the power of trusted social networks to promote healthy living, Aetna Health Connections Get Active! is being offered to large- and medium-sized employers who want to help employees of all health and fitness levels improve their overall health. The social networking platform is designed to unite employees to schedule group exercise opportunities, find colleagues with similar health interests, use online fitness and nutrition trackers and participate in team competitions. Participants can invite, challenge, track and motivate each other throughout the year. Aetna Health Connections Get Active! joins Aetna’s full suite of health and wellness programs aimed at helping people achieve their optimal health.

“We are proud to partner with Aetna to bring our employee wellness platform to their customers,” said Mike Zani, Shape Up The Nation’s chief executive officer. “Research shows that trusted social networks can be harnessed to encourage healthy behaviors and increase the likelihood for success through peer motivation, support, and accountability. Aetna members will benefit greatly from this powerful new tool for improving their health.”

Get Active Aetna results
Aetna has used a variety of wellness programs, including its own Get Active Aetna program, now in its third year. More than 20,000 Aetna employees actively participated in the program in 2009. In 2008, nearly 60 percent of employees participated and as a whole, participants walked the equivalent of 132 times around the earth’s equator. This year, Aetna employees walked 3.9 million miles or the equivalent of circling the equator 156 times.

About Aetna
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.

About Shape Up The Nation
Shape Up The Nation is the first wellness company focused on leveraging the power of trusted social networks to promote healthy living. Founded in 2006, Shape Up The Nation has pioneered an innovative approach to behavior change that uses social networking to reduce health care costs by improving the health of large populations through peer motivation, support, and accountability. Shape Up The Nationís evidence-based online platform is used by more than 100 leading self-insured employers and health plans. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Shape Up The Nation is online at www.shapeupthenation.com.

Source: Aetna

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