The sixth annual Coopwood Walking Challenge featured 59 teams of Regional One Health employees counting their steps over the past six weeks. Those teams combined to walk 267,440,394 steps, the equivalent to 113,467 miles. The 59 teams consisted of more than 700 Regional One Health employees walking.
The walking challenge started five years ago as one of the first health events for employees. The idea was to have a team-building event that also encouraged employee wellness.
“We want employees to get healthy,” said Angela Royston-Griffin, health and wellness coordinator for Regional One Health. “When they’re healthier they’re productive. It also builds team spirit and engagement across the hospital.”
The idea of “across the hospital” is important. Teams consisted of no more than 12 participants. While some consisted only of employees from one department, others had walkers from several areas. When teammates walked together during breaks or even before and after work it encouraged relationship building with staff members from departments who might not interact on a daily basis.
“We encourage more than one team in a department, and also to go outside their department and join another team,” Griffin said. “They’re meeting new people and coming out of their comfort zone. It gives them a chance to learn what the other side of the hospital does on a daily basis.
“And you’re taking care of your health. That’s the No. 1 reason.”
But it was a competition.
LeAnn Ruddick is a physical therapist and team captain of the winning Walk a Mile in These Blues team, which consisted mostly of therapists from across the hospital. She said the exercise was great, but competing was a big part of the fun. The team finished third last year and made a decision to have a plan going into this year.
“It’s just fun to get 12 people all on the same page to do anything these days. We had a good time but we wanted to win,” she said. “It was a team. We had weekly competitions among the team.”
Team members walked together during lunch breaks and often met to walk before and after work.
Walk a Mile in These Blues won with 14,162,526 steps walked. Second place went to Pacers, which consists of employees from Spiritual Care, Purchasing, Business Development and Shipping and Receiving. They walked 12,480,793 steps. And third place went to Walking In a Hard Place consisting of Transportation, who walked 12,147,783 steps.
The first-place walker was Machunka Hunt of Transportation with 2,959,469 steps. Second place went to Ricardo Greer of Transportation with 2,702,079 steps. And third place went to LaCrecia Franks of South Third Clinic with 2,595,998 steps.
D’Arcy Deveaux of Spiritual Care won the Team Captain Award and Theresa Traylor of Subacute won the Co-Team Captain Award.