John Hancock Recognized as an American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite

Worksites take steps to decrease healthcare expenses, increase productivity

BOSTON, March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees with their total wellbeing.

"Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at John Hancock. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as either a Gold- or Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite for the past eight years," said Maria Fraga, head of Global Benefits and Wellness for Manulife/John Hancock. "This speaks to our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our employees and to our customers because when we are at our best, we are in the best position to deliver on our promises to our customers."

Platinum-level employers:

  • Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
  • Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
  • Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
  • Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
  • Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

John Hancock embraces a culture of wellbeing where employees are encouraged to make time for exercise, eating right and stress relief. The company has a wellness team to support employee health and wellbeing with the goal of offering a consistent health management program for its employees and providing the support, environment, education, tools, resources and programs to help each person optimize his or her state of health with measurable results.

The company offers a comprehensive, integrated employee wellness program that provides a significant number of physical activity, nutritional and stress management resources, including webinars, online content, nutritional courses, and decision support tools.  This includes on-site subsidized fitness centers offering a wide variety of fitness classes (e.g. aerobics, yoga, pilates, spinning, sculpt & tone, zumba, etc.), exercise equipment and personal trainers. The company provides a fitness reimbursement program which covers the cost of membership, up to $400 annually, for gym memberships, exercise/fitness classes led by a certified instructor, Weight Watchers, and tobacco cessation programs, and is available to all benefits-eligible employees regardless of location.

John Hancock also offers a variety of seminars on physical activity, nutrition, stress management, financial wellness and promotes the information contained within the AHA website. Cafeterias offer healthy food options labeled as such and has converted all vending machines to offer 90 percent healthy choices. The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees' health and well-being a priority.

American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

"Research shows that the benefits of a healthier lifestyle include improved productivity and performance in all aspects of our lives," said Fraga. "We want to help our employees make their health a priority and we take a holistic approach by supporting their physical, emotional and financial wellness."

For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it's helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on the workplace, call Stefanie Smith at 781-373-4501 or visit

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Our mission drives everything we do. To improve the lives of all Americans, we provide public health education in a variety of ways. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were $977 billion (US $728 billion) as at December 31, 2016. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

SOURCE John Hancock Financial