Commercial Aviation

US Airways pilot in driver’s seat to better health

aviation_newsUS Airways First Officer Jay Judge’s “breath was taken away” after winning a new Chevrolet Camaro May 30 as part of the 2013 Fit for US employee wellness program. The car was awarded at the airline’s hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Judge, who has been with US Airways for one year, is based at the airline’s Charlotte hub.

Though Judge admitted he participated in Fit for US with the goal of winning the car, he has started “getting in exercise on overnight work trips” and set fitness goals after his biometric screening results indicated his cholesterol levels were a little high.

Judge, 29 other US Airways employees, and one employee’s spouse won prizes, including ten $2,000 US Airways Vacations gift cards and twenty $600 Apple® gift cards. The grand prize was a choice of a Camaro or a fully loaded Harley-Davidson motorcycle. More than 18 percent, or 5,218, of the airline’s 32,000 employees participated by completing wellness activities in the Fit for US program between February and April 2013 and were eligible to take part in the drawing.

“Everyone needs a little motivation to get started taking better care of their health and last month’s celebration caps our second year of running a program designed to do just that,” said Elise Eberwein, US Airways’ self-appointed plank drill sergeant and executive vice president, People, Communications and Public Affairs. “It can be a challenge to justify programs that have longer lead times for payback. But we decided three years ago, as a company, that the health of our employees and the increasing costs of healthcare not only for the company but also for individuals was an important area to tackle. Since we started the program, we’ve seen examples of people who have identified potentially life-threatening issues through the program, while others have identified early issues that could potentially become bigger problems down the road. The drawing, of course, is a fun culmination of the program each year. But make no mistake, we’re finding more and more of our employees are getting involved because the screening is free, easy to do, and at the end of the day, benefits them and their families as much, if not more so, than the company.”

U.S. and Puerto Rico-based employees, spouses and domestic partners enrolled in company-sponsored insurance plans were able to receive a free biometric screening, which is a general health check-up that can identify significant health problems by measuring blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels and body mass index. Once the participants received their biometric screening results, they had the option to complete an online health assessment questionnaire. The screening and questionnaire results are private and are used only by the participant and a trained health advisor to develop a healthy living fitness plan.

The next phase of the Fit for US program, the ten-week Fitness Challenge, started June 10. Eligible employees, their spouses and domestic partners will pledge to complete fitness routines and track their progress using online tools in this free program, which will award a $1,000 travel gift certificate and Nike gift

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