For Immediate Release
DENVER, January 20, 2014 – Xanterra Parks & Resorts’ wellness initiative, called Live Life – It’s Personal – was developed to help encourage employees to take responsibility for their own healthy lifestyles.
As a long-time cycling enthusiast, Xanterra’s president and CEO Andy Todd may not have needed the motivation, but he quickly embraced the endeavor to not only achieve his own personal cycling goals but to also clearly deliver the message to employees across the country that it’s okay to take the time to be healthy. Todd’s name is consistently near the top of an ongoing tally that shows the number of miles employees are logging.
Launched recently, Live Life – It’s Personal has five components focusing on health and balance, safety, education, food and beverage and sustainability.
Xanterra leaders in each of the company’s locations across the country serve as local ambassadors to encourage employees to embrace wellness. Tactics include development of local employee challenges and rewarding and recognizing employees for performance.
“There’s no question that Xanterra employees are an active bunch since they choose to work in locations where outdoor physical activity is common,” said Todd. “We’re also serious professionals who may sometimes find it difficult to find the time to exercise and eat right. Hopefully when employees know that the company’s executives take the time to be healthy, they’ll give themselves permission to do it too.”
Using a web-based framework called “America on the Move, “ the company-wide venture is based on a partnership with the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Denver.
Approximately 20 percent of all Xanterra full-time staff have signed up for the initiative. During one period last year, employees from Seattle to Vermont walked across the country nearly 26 times in 90 days, or 77,557 miles. The employees collectively logged more than 155 million steps, burned 7.8 million calories, developed 33 site-specific “challenges” and completed 10 of those challenges.
“Life Life – It’s Personal continues to catch on and we are seeing more and more employees sign up,” said Catherine Greener, vice president of sustainability. “While it is up to the employee to set and achieve goals, this framework makes it simple and fun.”
Both Todd and Greener are among the top 10 employees on the Denver team, which last year beat a team from Seattle-based Windstar Cruises in a challenge to “walk” roundtrip between Seattle and Denver, a total of 2,690 miles or 5,380,000 steps. Both teams quickly walked the full roundtrip, and so the teams – 38 participants from Denver and 44 participants from Seattle – opted to continue the challenge for the full period designated. The result: Denver logged 4,983.6 miles, or 9,967,317 steps, and Seattle logged 4,877.15 miles, or 9,754,294 steps.