Disney Encourages Couch Potatoes to Get More Active

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 3, 2011 — If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, often times the biggest step is the one that starts with getting off the couch.

As part of an effort to inspire cast members to take a more proactive approach to their health and well-being, Walt Disney World Resort recently teamed up with Active Network to launch the “Couch to 5K” Challenge. The program includes personalized training plans, online resources and coaches who provide expert advice to help cast members become more active, no matter where they are on their fitness journey.

Since the program began in January, approximately 1,400 cast members have participated in a series of training walks led by certified fitness advisors. As a result, nearly 250 cast members have accepted the challenge and are in training for a 5K run May 7.

“Across our organization, cast members at all levels are taking ‘one simple step’ on a journey of wellness toward a healthier lifestyle,” said Tracy Swanson, vice president of workforce planning for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  “We hope to make it easier than ever for our cast members to take advantage of the many health and wellness resources available to them.”

A sampling of other programs and services includes:

  • a choice of five quality health care plans that enable eligible cast and their dependents to select the plan that best meets their needs;
  • preventive care benefits that are generally available at no additional cost to plan participants and their covered dependents;
  • on-site health and wellness offerings, such state-of-the-art, Center for Living Well that provides eligible cast members and their families with a “one-stop shop” for primary medical care and related services, including a pharmacy, lab, basic radiology, and wellness and behavioral health resources.
  • educational and screening opportunities, health fairs and discounts on weight loss programs and gym memberships;
  • access to online tools and resources, such as a personal health assessment and a prescription drug price comparison tool; and
  • programs to support health plan members with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.