NEW ORLEANS —The American Heart Association has recognized companies in the Greater New Orleans area for achieving the organization’s Fit-Friendly status. The Fit-Friendly Worksite Recognition Program recognizes employers who offer employees the opportunity to stay healthy by creating physical activity programs within the workplace. The companies are as follows:

PLATINUM AWARD:Gilsbar, Ochsner Health System, Poydras Home and Tulane Medical Center.

GOLD AWARD:Children’s Hospital Medical Practice Corp., Crescent Bank & Trust, East Jefferson General Hospital, Entergy New Orleans, Franco’s Health Club and Spa, Honey Island Elementary, Humana, Interim LSU Public Hospital, Jones Walker, LLP, Lakeview Regional Medical Center; LAMMICO, L.W. Ruppel Academy for Advanced Studies; Operation Jumpstart East; Peoples Health; Port of New Orleans, POOLCORP, Slidell Memorial Hospital, St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Touro Infirmary, UnitedHealthcare and West Jefferson Medical Center.

Worksites earn Fit-Friendly recognition by implementing physical activity practices such as providing walking routes, promoting walking programs, online newsletters, and tracking tools to motivate employees, and allowing staff to wear athletic shoes in the workplace on designated “sneaker days.” Studies suggest such measures help help companies increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, lower turnover and reduce health-care costs.