October 31, 2011 -

Last week, Equitable Life accepted a Gold Award for workplace health at the 2nd Annual Workplace Awards Celebration held by Waterloo Region.

This is the second year the Region has run its Healthy Workplace Awards Program. The intent of the program is to "recognize and celebrate workplaces in Waterloo Region that demonstrate a strong commitment to improving the health of their employees."  Workplaces who receive an award have demonstrated that they provide a variety of activities to enhance the health of their employees and work environment.

To win a Gold Award, organizations are required to fulfill the award criteria in at least three categories. Equitable Life met the requirements for the "physical activity," "healthy eating" and "tobacco-free living" categories by offering a range of strategies, including awareness raising, skill building, supportive environments and policy development.

"At Equitable Life, we want to support and actively foster a healthier work environment for all staff," says Karen Mason, chair of Equitable Life's Wellness Committee, or Be Well Crew. "This award is truly a reflection of the contributions of all the committee members."

Since its creation in 2009, the Wellness Committee, has:

  • Conducted a confidential, comprehensive needs and interests survey,;
  • Implemented various onsite programs including Weight Watchers at Work, fitness classes and various health challenges;
  • Hosted lunch and learns on nutrition, safe bike riding and stress management;
  • Recruited teams for corporate fitness challenges such as Heart & Stroke's Big Bike Ride, the Manulife Bike for Heart, and Heatwave Corporate Challenge Volleyball;
  • Organized table tennis tournaments and launched a Ping Pong ladder;
  • Held a Get Active Day encouraging employees to engage in 30 minutes of physical activity;
  • Hosted a full slate of events to promote Healthy Workplace Month;
  • Installed a salad bar and healthy option vending machines; and
  • Drafted a Healthy Eating Policy, a Physical Activity Policy and a Non-Smoking Policy to encourage, support and actively foster a healthier work environment for all staff.

"The award also recognizes our efforts to integrate initiatives of our Wellness Committee with Equitable Life's many ongoing Human Resource programs and benefits," says Mason. "For example, we offer our employees flu shot clinics, online health and wellness resources and an Employee Assistance Program that provides access to support from professional counselors."  As well, Equitable Life recently introduced a new Wellfit Account that allows employees to submit reimbursement claims for fitness classes, gym memberships, registrations for organized sports, formal weight loss programs and more.


About Equitable Life of Canada

Since 1920, Canadians have been depending on Equitable Life of Canada for financial protection. We offer a wide selection of competitive Individual Life and Health, Group Life and Health, and Savings and Retirement products to meet a range of financial planning and health needs. As one of Canada's largest mutual life insurance companies, Equitable Life is dedicated solely to its policyholders. Everything we do is focused on providing them with personalized service, security and wellbeing. Equitable Life employs more than 500 staff members at its head office in Waterloo and in regional offices across Canada. The Company is represented by more than 10,000 independent advisors serving Equitable Life policyholders across Canada and in Bermuda.


For more information contact:
Don Bisch
Director, Corporate Communications