Caravus Walks to Boston

As the Wellness Coordinator at Caravus, finding new and exciting ideas to incorporate into our wellness culture can sometimes be challenging.  In late spring, when contemplating Caravus’ next wellness event, we decided to take advantage of an excellent opportunity brought to our attention by our partner, CHC Wellness.  CHC Corporate Walking Program seemed to be the perfect solution and a great opportunity for us to take time out of our busy schedules to exercise, or in our case, walk.   

The first requirement to begin our walking program was to purchase specific pedometers, the Omeron HJ-720ITC.  These pedometers are unique in that they upload directly to our computers, connect to our wellness portal, and transfer the actual steps on an as-needed basis.  After communication with our rep at CHC Wellness, we opted for a team-based city-to-city challenge.  The goal:  To see which team could make it from St. Louis to Boston in the six-week timeframe.  The winning team would receive a weekly Fruit My Cube delivery for one month.  Let the games begin!

Walking Program Kick-Off

The day was finally here, June 13, with the official kick-off.  We had three teams of six – Team 1, “Lights Out”; Team 2, “Call Me a Cab”; and Team 3, “Walk This Way” – all with the same goal, which was to walk 10,000 steps every day over the next six weeks.  Initially, many individuals were surprised to see how few steps they actually walked in a given day. 

“It made me realize how sedentary my work life is and how little activity I actually get during a typical work day,” said Hillary Downs, carrier coordinator at Caravus. 

Getting 10,000 steps in per day is not an easy task.  Using lunch breaks to walk around downtown or taking the stairs became a frequent activity in the office. 

It didn’t take long for the competitive side of employees to come out. 

“I enjoyed the competitive nature of the walking challenge.  I had to change the focus of my daily exercise routine to a more cardio-based emphasis in order to get my daily steps in,” said Adam Berkowitz, employee benefit consultant at Caravus. 

Every week presented new challenges, including a terrible heat wave in July; individuals misplacing pedometers; and even an employee on maternity leave.  However, one thing that was consistent throughout the entire six weeks was the teamwork mentality and the camaraderie among employees.

And the Winner is...

Week six quickly approached, with one final upload of steps on Wednesday, July 25.  Team 2, “Call Me a Cab” finished in first place with 1,097 miles.  Overall as a company, we walked a total of 2,782 miles, with many individuals far exceeding their personal goals. 

Overall, the walking program was a huge success in our office.  We had 100% participation and the pedometers quickly became part of our culture.  It brought employees together with all working toward the same goal, and even more importantly, everyone had fun while doing it.