Workforce Health | By | 05/10/18 | 3 Minute Read

4 Walking Challenge Ideas for Your Wellness Program

If you’re one of the many employers with a corporate wellness program, you’re likely looking for new ways to motivate your workforce to get active. One simple way to do this: encourage them to start walking. Why? Studies have shown that walking is one of the easiest ways to improve health . Specifically, walking may help manage chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, and can help prevent cardiovascular issues.

To encourage walking in your workforce, try hosting walking challenges. If possible, employees can use an activity tracker, like a Fitbit device, to track their data. If that is not an option, employees can manually record their data during the competition. Activity challenges will help encourage teamwork, camaraderie, and even a little friendly competition among employees. Try one of these 4 ideas below:

The 2-Week Feat.

  • Team challenge
  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • This one is simple: separate your company into teams, and urge them to get moving on day one of the challenge. Throughout the two weeks, send out emails and other notifications to remind employees to get walking. Encourage them to take walking meetings or grab lunch at a spot around the corner to help get them moving. The team with the most steps at the end of the challenge will be entered into a shared raffle to win a prize.

Most Improved.

  • Individual challenge
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Recognition can be the key to success for some folks. In fact, a 2013 survey found that 71% of respondents said the most meaningful recognition they received had no dollar value. This challenge can go on for any duration, and focuses on individuals and their weekly average number of steps. At the end of the challenge, administrators can compare average weekly step counts from the first week to the last. The person who improved the most can win the title “Most Improved” and receive a prize.

Going for Gold.

    • Individual challenge
    • Duration: 1 month
    • Encourage individuals to get walking with this tiered challenge. Participants who walk a total of 180,000 steps (6,000 per day) receive a bronze medal, those who walk 240,000 (8,000 per day) get silver, and those who walk 300,000 (10,000 per day) earn gold. Prizes can be tiered accordingly, ranging from t-shirts to gift cards.

Billion Step challenge.

    • Team challenge
    • Duration: 3 months
    • Create 5 teams within your organization based on department, location, etc. Pick a large number like 100 million or billion steps depending on the size of your organization, and encourage each team to walk as much as possible in 90 days. Aim to have the step count level out to an average of 10,000 steps per day (per employee). Prizes can be given to teams, or rockstar individuals throughout the challenge and at the end.

And when you run these challenges, don’t forget that communication is crucial for success. Administrators should create a communications plan prior to launching any walking challenge to inspire employees to get active constantly—and reminding participants of the prizes and rewards available!

This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

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