March 25, 2011

New Employee Wellness Challenge Kicks Off

Woman stretchingWith warm weather just around the corner in Cleveland—and it will be here soon enough—it's time to get moving. The Office of Human Resources and 121 Fitness are joining forces to present a new employee wellness challenge. Based off last fall’s successful 10,000 Steps Challenge, this year’s CWRU Spring Activity & Walking Challenge invites all employees to get active this spring in any kind of exercise.

From April 6 to May 6, employees can log on to MyStart! to begin tracking their daily activities, from walking and running to dancing and yoga. There’s even a way to calculate energy expended in everyday activities like vacuuming and gardening. This program focuses more on the time spent exercising and being active, rather than the actual amount of steps walked. Participants can receive a free pedometer—pick it up at 121 Fitness Center—but it is not required with this new program.

There will be a competition aspect to the challenge: Employees can sign up in teams of four or five or as individuals. Prizes will be awarded to the individual and team with the most activity and the school/college or university-general office with the highest percentage of participation. Additionally, there will be raffle prizes for employees averaging at least 30 minutes of activity each day, explained Bryn Mota, director of 121 Fitness Center.

But the competition shouldn’t be the driving force behind participation, explained Jamie Ryan, senior director of benefits in the Department of Human Resources, and Sarah Ziance, program manager at 121 Fitness. “We want you to do something—get active, start trying to change some of your behaviors in your life,” Ryan said.

Exercising regularly helps individuals get into a routine, Ziance said, which “makes you set a schedule and makes for better time management.”

Additionally, Ziance noted, exercising and eating well are two key components in increasing employee productivity and decreasing absenteeism, which are two reasons Case Western Reserve University is backing such employee wellness programs.

More than anything, though, Ryan said: “We as a university want to try to encourage folks—if there are healthier behaviors you can put in your life, then we want you to do that because we care about you as a person.”

For more information and to register, visit the ThinkFit website. When registering, you must check the box that allows your employer to view your activity totals in order to participate. If you have not received a welcome email within 24 business hours of registration, please ensure this box is checked on your profile.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, March 25, 2011 09:22 AM | News Topics: Staff

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