December 17, 2010 – [North Smithfield] Banneker is a world class provider of supply chain management services. The award-winning North Smithfield-based company specializes in the movement of materials from suppliers to manufacturers and end-users.

The company also knows how to encourage the “movement” of its employees.

Since 2006, Banneker has participated in Shape Up RI’s annual fitness competitions. Shape Up RI, the nation’s most successful statewide wellness program, has empowered more than 50,000 Rhode Islanders to lead healthier lifestyles. Banneker was one of 158 Rhode Island companies that sponsored its employees to participate in 2010.

“Shape Up RI has made a tremendous impact on my lifestyle and my family,” says Office Administrator Roberta Ramos, captain of the Banneker team. “Now, I exercise three to five days a week and eat more fruits and vegetables. I lost twelve pounds over the last two years and got motivated to join a gym.”

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The structure of the statewide Shape Up RI exercise and weight loss challenge is simple. Participants form teams with friends, co-workers, and/or family members. Team members receive a digital pedometer, logbook, and access to a robust online data tracking system, through which they can set goals, track their progress, communicate with team members, and compare their results with 15,000 participants across the state.

To keep her team motivated during the competition, Ramos invites health experts to educate her teammates about nutrition, as well as yoga and Pilates instructors to lead demonstrations. She leads her team on lunchtime walks, as well as walks for causes including AIDS and cancer, to keep her team active.

Banneker President and CEO Cheryl Snead has sponsored her employees’ participation since 2006 and recently equipped Banneker’s facility with a full-size gym.
The award-winning movement to encourage Rhode Islanders to lead healthier lifestyles was started by Brown University medical student Rajiv Kumar in 2005.

“The dramatic growth of Shape Up RI over the years has exceeded our expectations,” says Kumar, now Chairman of the organization. “Our success has been powered by companies like Banneker who truly understand the importance of investing in the health of their employees.”

Shape Up RI, whose major sponsor is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, recently announced the calendar for its upcoming 2011 wellness campaign. The twelve-week competition begins on February 7 and runs through May 1. Team enrollment has already begun. Participants can sign up online at www.shapeupri.org.

When asked about Banneker’s plans to participate in the next competition, Ramos expressed enthusiasm. “Yes, we will join the program again this year, and I’ll get as many team members involved as possible. This is a great program for everyone.”

For more information on how to join the Shape Up RI 2011 Competition, please visit the website www.shapeupri.org or call (401) 421-0608.

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