Burnham Benefits Road-Tests Client Wellness Programs With 2nd Annual Team Health Fitness Challenge

The Award-Winning Employee-Benefits Consulting Firm Takes Hands-On Approach to Wellness Program Innovation

IRVINE, CA (May 7, 2013) – Burnham Benefits Insurance Services, one of the largest employee benefits brokerages in California and one of the few to specialize solely in strategic employee benefits consulting and brokerage services, announced the results of its second Team Health Fitness Challenge. The firm uses this annual event to refine its ability to provide clients with the most effective, technologically advanced and cutting edge employee-wellness programs. The results of this year's challenge further supported the power of team competition, daily communication and goal-setting in achieving health and fitness objectives.

"In this year's challenge, we added Health Hero ( technology for daily reporting, communication and goal-setting with our fitness partner, PEAR Sports," says Mandy Rossi, Burnham's team challenge leader. "Participants received e-mail and text messages updating their statuses and their team positions, along with the great workout and training coaching they received from PEAR. The team's response to this combination was fantastic, and we will definitely carry this format forward as a great platform for our customers."

Burnham Benefits is the only California employee benefits firm with the exclusive rights to offer PEAR Square One technology for employee wellness. The PEAR Square One, from PEAR Sports, LLC, is an audio-based fitness coaching and training system that learns your fitness level and adjusts your workouts, putting a personalized twist on employee wellness. The system includes a wireless heart-rate sensor, foot pod and sport earphones that work together to deliver real-time audio coaching that tells you when to speed up or slow down and on-demand audio stats based on how the body is responding to the workout. It also infuses users' favorite music seamlessly into the coaching cues. The system makes it easy for employees to exercise in their optimal heart rate zone and maximize the fitness benefits of their workout whether they want to get toned, lose weight or endurance train.

Employees using the PEAR Square One begin with an assessment workout prior to starting a specific plan. The assessment phase reads data on heart rate zones during a moderate 20-minute workout, then calibrates the system to choose appropriate workouts. PEAR provides hundreds of personalized training plans and workouts designed by a team of world-class coaches. The PEAR system gives each program member access to expert coaching 24 hours a day.

During the Burnham challenge, the PEAR device allowed team members to upload their workouts to a personal exercise tracking portal that automatically fed data to the Health Hero portal. That interactivity enabled users to view both individual and group progress. Health Hero's social feed fostered encouragement of team members and became an integral function of the challenge, letting challengers "like" and comment on other's workouts.

The eight-week challenge placed 25 participants in five teams and began with an initial weigh-in and density check to assess overall health and for use in monitoring progress. The challenge achieved 88 percent participation, 46 pounds of weight loss, an average of four workouts per participant per week, the consumption of more than 739,000 calories and more than 1,389 miles of walking and running. Better yet, participants continued with their healthy habits after the challenge had concluded, and the team has demonstrated improvement in efficiency, productivity and morale in the office.

"Our purpose for establishing our own team challenges is to build a great applied knowledge base for our clients," says Kristen Allison, founder and CEO of Burnham Benefits. "This challenge allowed us to fully understand the effectiveness of an excellent program design, the impact of daily reporting and goal-setting and the power of coaching and results-monitoring from PEAR. These results will allow us to continue to design effective fitness programs in partnership with our clients as an integral part of a wellness initiative."

This year's challenge winner, Catherine Seitz, says her team was so motivated that they walked or jogged to run errands and incorporated stair-climbing at work into their daily routines. In addition to those for the winning team, trophies were awarded in five categories: greatest BMI change, most weight lost, best variance in workouts, most intense workouts and most distance covered.

To learn more about the Burnham Benefits Pear Wellness Plan for your business, call (949) 833-2983, or visit for more information.

Developed by a passionate team of entrepreneurs with athletic, technology and design backgrounds, PEAR Sports was born from the desire to offer game-changing personalized coaching to anyone wanting to reach a fitness or performance goal. PEAR adapts to your fitness level and puts a world-class coach in your ear with hundreds of custom workout plans, including strength training, weight loss, spinning, running, endurance training, and more. The PEAR ecosystem has something for everyone, from beginners to seasoned athletes, and is continuously adding new workouts and plans. The system serves as a smart personal coach, delivering fitness, toning and weight-loss benefits while users train and listen to their favorite music.

About Burnham Benefits Insurance Services:
Based in Irvine, Calif., Burnham Benefits Insurance Services Inc. is a leading employee benefits brokerage in California, and one of the few to specialize solely in employee benefits insurance. Kristen Allison, CEO of Burnham Benefits and a 30-year industry veteran, acquired the firm in 1995 from John Burnham Insurance Services, an Orange County mainstay for more than 50 years. Boasting the in-depth industry knowledge and Fortune 500 resources of a large firm, Burnham Benefits prides itself on retaining the flexibility, creativity and consultative service of a boutique. California employers across all industries and in various growth phases trust Burnham to provide the counsel and cutting-edge resources to meet the needs of the unique market. After steady 20 percent annual growth and 97 percent client retention for the past 10 years, the company serves more than 300 corporate clients throughout the United States and manages more than $600 million in premiums. Working with its colleagues at Burnham Gibson Financial Group, and having the added expertise of in-house underwriters, compliance officers and communications specialists, Burnham Benefits provides an integrated approach to managing a client's full spectrum of employee benefits. Named Best Place to Work by the Orange County Business Journal in both 2011 and 2012, the company has four offices in California: Irvine, San Rafael, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, as well as offices in Oregon and the Washington D.C. metro area. For more information, visit

Leslie Licano
Beyond Fifteen Communications

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