I am very fortunate to work for a Fortune 500 company that tries to make it easy for us employees to stay in shape.....we have a very nice workout room (that honestly I rarely use), my company provides discounts at various gyms and fitness centers, and we even have a Health & Wellness Committee that does various incentives/activities to promote fitness among our employees.....
Last year the Health and Wellness committee sponsored a Step Challenge and sold employees little pedometers to track their steps for 3 months, and those that had more than a certain number of steps were entered in a drawing for a Wii fit...... many employees participated (including myself) and it was a fun event.
I decided that the committe should build on the Step Challenge from last year and have a "Become a Runner" challenge. Originally I was calling it the "Half Marathon" Challenge, but then I changed it to make it more accessible to all running levels. This past week I made a presentation to the committee, asking them to sponsor this challenge for our employees......here is how it would work, as I presented it:
2009 “Become a Runner” Challenge
The Become a Runner Challenge basically is all about getting our employees involved in running/walking a race together. I think the right distance would either be a 10K or a half marathon. ( I later revised this to say 5K or whatever would get the employee moving)
We could identify a race or several races that we as co-workers could participate in together, and have them sponsored by the Health and Wellness Committee.
We would invite our employees, spouses, friends, etc to run in these races together. The goal is not to win, but to finish. It would be great if we could get 10% employee participation.
For employees, we would issue the challenge and encourage people to register for designated race(s). Then, they would notify the official team coordinator (TBD) that they plan to run the race.
Then, if they complete the race---even if they only walk—they will receive the following:
--An official Team t-shirt. We will all wear these the day of the race.
--Reimbursement for their registration fee.
--Official public recognition at the next All Employee Meeting following the race.
In addition, we could measure improvements in all kinds of things for our employees, such as BMI, weight loss, heart rate, cholestorol levels, blood pressure, increase in distances ran, etc, etc.
I then gave the committee a list of all the health benefits that runners experience. Much of it was what I shared it one of my previous posts.
I also floated the idea of employees traveling together to a race destination, and also the idea that the company could reimburse 3 or 4 race registrations a year for each employee as an ongoing benefit.
I do not know if any of these ideas will go anywhere, but the committe seemed very interested...I will keep you all posted.................