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Coca-Cola, Georgia-Pacific and SunTrust Lace Up to Promote Benefits of Healthy Workplace During Virgin HealthMiles' "Walk to Win" Challenge

Major Atlanta Employers Participate in Spirited Competition to Get Employees More Physically Active on Path to Wellness (October 20, 2011)

ATLANTA, GA -- (Marketwire) -- 10/20/11 -- Three Virgin HealthMiles clients and prominent Atlanta employers, Coca-Cola, Georgia-Pacific and SunTrust, recently came together and laced up their walking shoes to participate in the first "Walk to Win" challenge. Nearly 6,000 downtown Atlanta-area employees representing these major brand name organizations joined together for some friendly competition during the three-week challenge to promote good health and see which company could take the most steps. In total, challenge participants from these three organizations cumulatively logged more than 365,000 miles.

"For workplace wellness programs to effectively improve employee health and lower costs, employees need to participate over the long term. Challenges -- whether between individuals, departments or companies -- are one of the most effective strategies for creating social communities that support ongoing employee engagement," said Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin HealthMiles. "We congratulate Coca-Cola, Georgia-Pacific and SunTrust for their demonstrated leadership in providing employees with the tools and motivation they need to make healthy lifestyle choices."

The winner of the Walk to Win challenge was Georgia-Pacific, whose 1,715 team members took a total of more than 388 million steps -- or the equivalent of nearly eight times the circumference of the globe. Georgia-Pacific was awarded the 2011 Walk to Win Challenge trophy.

"While we are excited to take home the trophy in the Walk to Win Challenge against Coca-Cola and SunTrust, we are more excited about the overall health improvements of not just Georgia-Pacific employees, but for everyone involved," said Julie Brehm, senior vice president - human resources, Georgia-Pacific. "Initiatives like these help encourage friendly competition and get us all one step closer to achieving our personal health goals, so from that perspective, we all win."

Social connections played an important role in keeping Coca-Cola, Georgia-Pacific and SunTrust employees "walking to win." Employees from the three companies leveraged an online message board to spur their team members on to success, with comments including, "Do you see that together we have taken over a billion steps? That's a healthy win for everybody!" And, "Don't forget to keep uploading your steps. Make an extra push this evening to get in a nice long walk & then upload tomorrow!"

Coca-Cola, Georgia-Pacific and SunTrust are all enthusiastic proponents of organization-wide employee wellness programs as a core aspect of their business philosophies. "Coca-Cola is thrilled to take part in this healthy competition with SunTrust and Georgia-Pacific, and is even more proud of the hundreds of Coca-Cola associates who participated," said Carolyn Jackson, Chief HR Officer, Coca-Cola North America. "This challenge reflects our Coca-Cola motto 'Live Positively,' which happens through being active and taking a healthy approach to life. We applaud everyone who 'walked the walk' in this program. We look forward to the next challenge and encourage everyone to keep walking!"

"On behalf of SunTrust, I'm proud of the commitment and performance of our 'Walk to Win' challenge participants," said SunTrust Chief Human Resources Officer, Ken Carrig. "When it comes to improving your health, we all know that walking is more important than winning. That said, I'm already looking forward to next year's rematch."

Virgin HealthMiles helps employers create and sustain a workplace culture of health. Through challenges like Walk to Win, Virgin HealthMiles members leverage the power of individuals' social connections to form communities and build enthusiasm, camaraderie, and healthy competition with their peers. These active communities have helped members take more than 400 billion steps since the HealthMiles program's inception in 2005; these increased levels of physical activity are proven to help organizations lower healthcare costs.

About Virgin HealthMiles
Virgin HealthMiles provides technology-based employee health programs that pay people to get active. The company's Pay-for-Prevention™ approach, based on physical activity and healthy lifestyle change, attracts an average of 40 percent of employees who participate, which helps organizations reduce medical costs and improve employee productivity and satisfaction. Over 120 industry leaders representing more than 700,000 employees across the U.S, including American Diabetes Association, OhioHealth, Ochsner Health System, MWV, SunGard, SunTrust, and Timberland have selected Virgin HealthMiles' award-winning program for their employees. The company is a member of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group. For more information, visit

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