Getaway to Good Health by taking the stairs!

Keep on walking – and climbing the stairs! Moving more throughout the day is the message to benefits-eligible employees at Baylor College of Medicine who want to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

The annual BCM BeWell Getaway to Good Health challenge will continue in 2019 with a virtual trek to San Diego. Entering its fifth year, the challenge encourages participants to track their steps each day using a wearable device or through a phone app, amassing the equivalent of the steps it would take to walk to different spots across the United States. The first leg took walkers on a virtual trip from Houston to Panama City, Fla., then to New York City, on to Minneapolis, followed by Spokane, Wash., and now sunny Southern California.

While it’s a virtual journey, it is actual steps that participants are tracking – and a lot of them, at that. It will require more than 3.3 million steps to walk the equivalent of the distance from Spokane, Wash., where the challenge left off, to San Diego – that’s an average of 9,986 steps per day. Participants who reach that mark and complete other challenge requirements will earn 1,500 BCM BeWell Vitality Points. Challenge participants who do not walk enough steps to make it all the way to San Diego can still earn points for reaching other points along the way, not to mention earning points just for enrolling before Sept. 1, 2019.

“We chose a steps-per-day challenge as the focus of our physical activities initiative for the BeWell program because it’s something that almost everyone can do,” said Jesse Gavin, wellness team leader. “It doesn’t require a gym membership or equipment, other than a pair of sneakers.”

Baylor experts confirm that walking can be a significant part of a healthy lifestyle, and it’s especially important since sitting for a big chunk of the day has become the norm. Read more about the benefits of walking and increased activity here and here.

For those looking to add more steps to their daily routine, consider taking the stairs more often. BCM BeWell is providing motivation to do just that by turning certain stairwells in the main Baylor building into BCM BeWell StairWELLs. They are marked with the BCM BeWell logo and include messages designed to inspire as you use the stairs. These special stairwells include Anderson C, DeBakey A and B, E Hallway and the Rayzor Lounge stairs. The Jewish Institute Building stairwell is scheduled to be completed soon with a nature-inspired theme.

Points earned through the Getaway to Good Health are an important part of the BCM BeWell Points requirement in order for benefits-eligible employees to receive a discount on their health insurance premium in 2020.

The numbers from 2018 show the success of the program – 2,305 benefits-eligible employees participated, collectively walking more than 6.2 million steps to date. That deserves a pat on the back!

Challenge details and requirements:

  • Getaway to Good Health – San Diego:  Jan. 1 – Nov. 29, 2019
  • Registration opens Dec. 10
  • Must complete Vitality Health Review and biometric screening by Nov. 25, 2019
  • Steps required / points earned (additional prizes and gift cards awarded during the challenge)
    • Enrollment by Sept. 1, 2019: 500 BCM BeWell Vitality points
    • Springfield, Ore. – 1,037,250 steps = 461 miles = 3,115 steps/day / 500 points
    • Sacramento, Calif. – 2,191,500 steps = 974 miles = 6,582 steps/ day / 1,000 points
    • San Diego – 3,325,500 steps = 1,478 miles = 9,986 steps/day / 1,500 points

Learn more about Getaway to Good Health – San Diego.