One of the best parts of the WellMASS program is that we have a dedicated network of Wellness Champions who are always eager to share ideas, especially those related to onsite programs. Soon after WellMASS began, EOPSS Wellness Champion Annette Powell came to me with the idea to conduct a stairway challenge for employees in the McCormack Building. The Challenge was a success at EOPSS, and I have been encouraging other agencies to “steal” Annette’s great idea ever since.
Over the summer, DOR Wellness Champion Dieter Wahl worked very hard to create a stairway challenge in the neighboring Saltonstall Building. His program was structured similar to Annette’s in that employees were challenged to increase the number of flights of stairs they climbed each week, with the end goal being to walk all the way from the lobby up to the building’s 24th floor at the end of ten weeks. Dieter scheduled twice daily climbs for those employees who preferred to walk as part of a group, and he encouraged participants to climb at their own pace. His hard work and organization paid off, as over 20 employees successfully completed the challenge, climbing 650 flights of stairs – the equivalent of 12 trips up the Prudential building!
Participants were grateful for the motivation and support with which the challenge provided them:
“I wanted to thank you for the stair challenge. When we started, I really did not think I would ever be able to finish the challenge. I couldn’t make it up to the 8th floor without having to stop twice. Now, I can do 24 flights without having to stop—granted I am not running up the stairs- but to me it is a huge improvement.”
“Thank you for helping me get healthier!”
“For a guy whose idea of a relaxing vacation is hiking in the Himalayas, Dieter was an incredibly gentle and supportive coach throughout the WellMASS stair climbing challenge. He encouraged us to do what we could, to ease back if we missed a few days, and to be proud of however many floors we climbed. I am in better cardio shape than I have been in years. And the view from the roof on the final day was fabulous!”
DOR, thanks to the support of Commissioner Amy Pitter and her leadership team, is fast becoming a model agency when it comes to wellness. When it came to the stairway challenge, DOR employees proved that all it takes is a little motivation and dedication to incorporate a healthy routine into the workday. If you’re looking for an easy way to motivate employees to become more active and challenge themselves to safely go beyond their limits, a stairway challenge is an excellent idea. If you’d like more information on starting one at your agency, send me an email.