IBM teams with HealthCode to combat obesity around the globe

Facing a global health crisis related to sedentary lifestyles, IBM teamed with HealthCode to tackle one of the biggest causes of disease today.

With a goal of combating a growing health crisis related to obesity while engaging IBM employees and their communities in more active, healthy lifestyles, IBM was one of the early corporations to participate in HealthCode’s Million Mile Month when it launched in 2014.

Million Mile Month is a month-long activity challenge held each April, in which participants around the world track their physical activity – from walking to running to swimming to yoga – with a goal of accomplishing a collective 1 million miles as a global community.

“The idea is to get moving,’’ said Steve Amos, executive director of the nonprofit HealthCode. “We wanted to unite individuals around a collective community-wide goal of completing a million miles. People got to pick their activity – walk, run, swim, bike or dance. It doesn’t matter – just get up and move.”

When IBM joined Million Mile Month, IBM provided a valued boost to the program. Beth Tracy, IBM corporate citizenship manager, suggested the program extend beyond HealthCode’s home base in Texas and opened it to a global audience. IBM shared registration information on the company’s global On Demand Community website serving its global employee base. Also, IBM provided a local partnership discretionary grant to HealthCode to support enriched health programs and initiatives.

Beth Tracy, IBM Corporate Citizenship Manager, with HealthCode leaders kicking off April 2015 Million Mile Month.

Tracy said: “IBM’s amazing global employees jumped on it, with increased participation from Brazil to India.”

The IBM grant enabled HealthCode to develop new features, such as creating a global leaderboard.

Amos said: “The results have been incredible. She helped us go global.’’

As HealthCode grows, the nonprofit continues to introduce new initiatives, including expanding its programs to four global events: January’s iResolve™, April’s Million Mile Month™, July’s Triathlon in a Month™, October’s Marathon in a Month™

HealthCode’s programs have seen exponential growth with participants from all 50 states in the United States and from 30 countries. HealthCode’s programs are supported by companies with global employee networks, such as Dun & Bradstreet. For more information on Dun & Bradstreet’s participation please see their video.

Dun & Bradstreet employees in Taiwan in April 2017

In addition, HealthCode’s programs have:

  • Provided support for school districts struck by Hurricane Harvey. Read about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s proclamation on Marathon in a Month.
  • Grown to more than 36,400 participants from 200 organizations including school districts, municipalities, state agencies, nonprofits and businesses of all sizes.
  • Generated more than 4.7 million miles of activity, burned more than 334+million calories and potentially saved some $859,000 in health care costs. At the same time, HealthCode events have helped individuals, families, organizations and communities be healthier and more positively connected with others.

We are honored to be partnering with IBM in our shared vision to promote health and prevent disease, so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of a healthier, happier life,’’ Amos said. “As we focus on physical activity, nutrition, education and community; delivering goal-based community-wide challenges, we are grateful for our partners like IBM. By 2020, our goal is to engage more than 100,000 people a year in our programs and help save $1 million in healthcare costs.”

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