By Tyler Hanke
Corban employees are stepping up to this year’s Walk the Walk challenge, a wellness program created by Human Performance Professor Shannon Simmons to improve all employees’ quality of life.
Walk the Walk starts by giving participants simple goals and tools to help them reach their goals. Simmons designed the program, but the motivation to create it came from University Provost Matt Lucas. Lucas approached Simmons about starting a wellness program for employees last July after university leaders had developed a plan to attract and retain high-quality employees. Lucas said a wellness program was a part of this investment.
More than 100 participants signed up for the program. Upon signing up they received a pedometer allowing each participant to gage their steps each day. The final goal is to walk more than 1,300 miles by May 2011. This is the approximate number of miles Corban University traveled from its start in Phoenix, Ariz. to Oakland, Calif. to Salem.
The end goal is large but Simmons designed the plan to work around smaller goals. Upon receiving the pedometers each participant was challenged to walk 10,000 steps, about five miles, each day.
Another tool came from the IT department. Simmons asked if a website could be made to track each participant’s progress. Jason Bittel one of Corban’s systems analysts designed a program that allows all participants to log in their steps for the day.
“I talk to every single participant and everyone seems to be liking it,” Bittel said.
“It really moves me,” said Cathy Downs, administrative assistant for Student Life. “When I need to use the restroom I never pick the one close to me. I run down the hall to the farther one to gain more steps,” she said, laughing.
Another employee, Sandy Clouser agreed, adding, “My job is pretty sedentary, but every time I see my pedometer I am encouraged to get up and move. It helps remind me to be active.”