Walking Programs; Get moving, Your Boss Says So

Attention employers, summer is here and a great time to implement a walking program for your employees. 

Anyone who runs a business knows that good employee are hard to find, so when you have a good team of people working for you, make sure you are taking care of them, and that includes promoting a healthy workplace. When it comes to health, walking is at the top of the list.  Not only does it relieve stress, and help manage a healthy weight, but when promoted in the workplace it can help with productivity and team cohesiveness.  

Workplace walking challenges have become increasingly popular in recent years, as employers look for ways to maintain a fun and productive workplace.  While there are many ways to implement a walking challenge, here is an example of an easy way to start.

Implemented by Human Resources Manager, Chris Harte last summer, the team at EPB&B pulled together to make a 987-mile trek from Portland to Disneyland.  Of course, they didn’t actually walk to Disneyland, but they put in some serious miles and had a lot of fun doing it.  Here is How: 

  1.  Pick A“ Virtual” Location.  Depending on the number of participants, you may want to go across town or across the country.  Add some fun swag (EPB&B donned mouse ears) that represents your final destination. 
  2. Make The Challenge Optional. Remember a walking challenge is meant to be a fun team-building experience, not another item in the job description. 
  3. Provide Tracking Devices. Most participants have a smartphone or a fitness tracker they can use to track their miles but provide a pedometer (they are inexpensive and work fine) for those who may need one. 
  4. Start Walking. Every step counts.  Whether to the copy machine, running after the kids, or keeping up with Fido, just keep walking.  
  5. Report Miles Walked.  At the end of each week, have each participant report their total miles walked that week to the designated team leader.  I suggest making it an honor system (unless you work with a bunch of cheaters).  Have the team leader share the weekly totals to keep everyone motivated.
  6. Take Pics And Share.  Encourage everyone to brush up on their selfies and  to share their journey with one another. 
  7. CELEBRATE.  When you reach your destination, have a way to celebrate the accomplishment.  A catered theme lunch, a donation to a favorite charity, or workout swag to name a few ideas.

A walking challenge can be done in workplaces that are in office, work from home, or hybrid.  They are a great way to build team cohesiveness, promote health and have some fun.   

The EPB&B Wellness Wednesday Series is written by Sherri Sacconaghi, Creative Strategist and former Health and Fitness Coach.

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