What Makes a Walking Program Work?

A walking program or challenge is one of the best all-around wellness activities for an organization to sponsor, and often serves as one of the core programs delivered year over year. Walking gets employees moving and is easy for almost anyone to do. It’s great for maintaining weight, moving your joints, and getting fresh air. Any movement is good movement and we don’t need participants to run a marathon. We just want to get them off the couch and moving more!

Make it Easy

The program should have well defined goals, and the simpler the better. A good example would be “40 miles in 40 days.” Most beBetter walking programs use a leaderboard so that participants can easily see their progress toward the completion requirements.

Leaderboards are also great because they promote people’s natural sense of competition. People love to compete; they love to joke around. Competition inspires people to take that extra step and make that extra effort.

beBetter makes it easy for participants to log their walking by using the most common devices and apps, such as Fitbit, Jawbone, Moves, Garmin, and others. These automatically track walking steps, time, and distance. Some organizations give their employees an inexpensive activity device called a Pebble, which beBetter has fully integrated into its system and can ship to our clients.

Walking Boosts the Overall Health of a Company

Having surveyed thousands of employees, we know that participants see tremendous value in walking programs. The number of employees who report at least 20 minutes of physical activity 5 times a week will usually jump significantly (as a typical example, from 20% to 40%). Such typical results mean that the walking program is accomplishing exactly what it’s supposed to – get people moving.

When a person decides to participate in a wellness program, they make a certain level of commitment. By doing so, they often look at other areas of their life where they can improve. They may look at what they eat, how much they sleep, and other ways to exercise. Thus, a walking program often jumpstarts health in other areas and has a broader impact than one might initially realize.

At beBetter, we love to “walk the walk.” Our employees experience both sides of a walking program, both implementing the programs for our clients and participating in our own internal program. We have seen firsthand how a walking program helps build camaraderie and bring employees closer together.

Contact us for more information on our walking programs and the wide variety of other wellness challenges that we offer!