We are proud to celebrate National Walking Day by kicking off the 4th annual Walking Challenge amongst the staff here at Pentucket Medical!
The Walking Challenge is a practice-wide event to get employees moving. There are approximately 10-20 teams each year that participate. Each team, comprised of 5 employees, is asked to select a team captain and a snappy name (these names are always very creative.) Each team member wears a pedometer and tracks the steps they take each week. The steps are then sent to HR and converted to miles. The miles are then plotted out on a map of the United States. There are certain checkpoints throughout the journey. At each check point a few fun facts are disclosed. A status report is then sent out weekly to highlight where teams are and to further motivate team progress.
The walking challenge was initially created to provide increased employee engagement and to promote a healthy lifestyle. People tend to get up and move more to increase their steps. There is friendly competition between the teams and even within each team.
In earlier years the winners was determined by the most miles walked as a team. Due to the varying levels of participation, (we want everyone to participate and feel they have a chance to win even if they don’t walk 10 miles a day) the winner is now determined by a drawing. Teams that consistently report their steps will be put into a drawing at the end of the challenge. The top 3 teams will win a prize. The prize is usually comprised of healthy snacks, water and other things. With all the health benefits to walking – everyone walks away a winner.
Research has shown that the benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can help you:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
- Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Improve blood lipid profile
- Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance mental well being
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes