By Megan Wilcox, APR, ThedaCare Media and Public Relations
Working on a project – even if it’s improving our health – is easier when done in the group. That’s what four women at the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value discovered by participating in the Pedometer Challenge.
Center employees participating in the 12-week Challenge include Sara Thompson, brand manager and education coordinator; Jamie Vosters, network coordinator; Catherine Johannes, summit manager and network coordinator; and Nina Cook, office coordinator. The Challenge, which is sponsored by ThedaCare and ThedaCare Orthopedic Care, started in early February and runs until the end of April. The Challenge encourages participants to find a buddy and work together on increasing their daily number of steps.
Sara says the co-workers aren’t competitive about who can get the most steps in each day and try to help each other by sharing ideas on how to fit in more steps, such as taking the steps rather than the elevator to their fourth floor office and using the restroom on the building’s first floor rather than the one right down the hall.
“I decided to take the challenge because I knew that I was not very active and wanted to have something to help motivate and push me to be a little more active. I also wanted to take steps to be healthier,” Sara says. “I have noticed a difference since I have been participating in the challenge. I have more energy the more movement I get in and I am feeling better.”
While they aren’t competitive and don’t try to outdo each other (unlike the Boutott sisters), Jamie says they do share their daily totals and encourage each other to get more.
“When we share the numbers amongst us, you can hear the disappointment in our voices when we call out that we had less than 10,000 steps,” she says. Health officials recommend people get at least 10,000 steps a day to improve their health.
Jamie has enjoyed the challenge and how it opened up her eyes to just how much activity she gets in daily, adding it would be interesting to get the same people together when the weather is warm outside and see how they do.
“It would be neat to see the same do the challenge in a warmer month so those of us who seem to be stuck inside in the winter, can see the importance of exercise in the warmer months,” she says. “It truly was an eye opener to see that I really walk less than two miles a day- so very sad.”
The Challenge is getting everyone to think differently about their after-work habits whether it’s Sara going on a walk with her son in the evening or Jamie getting up and moving during TV commercial breaks or when she’s done reading a chapter in her book.