Five Northern Michigan counties participate in Live Healthy Live United 365 Challenge
As our country makes strides towards preventative healthcare and wellness initiatives, a common theme arises: workplace wellness programs work. Studies are proving these programs not only help prevent future health issues by stressing preventative care, but also increase productivity and positive workplace experiences. Since we spend the majority of our waking hours in the workplace, it only makes sense to prioritize healthy habits in such a venue.
To supplement these initiatives, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and United Way of Northwest Michigan have implemented the Live Healthy Live United 365 Workplace Challenge. Employees of businesses located in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties are welcome to participate in the 8-week challenge from September 16th to November 11th.
So how does it work? Employees can record physical activity as minutes and healthy lifestyle behaviors as miles on the Walking Works website throughout the course of the challenge. Employees can also donate time and efforts in volunteering hours totaled by their company’s Workplace Campaign Coordinator. After the challenge ends, BCBSM will donate to the United Way Community Fund in the name of the company that logs the highest average wellness miles per participant. Additionally, there will be weekly individual prize drawings for participants. Sign up and learn more about the challenge here.
Director of fund development at United Way of Northwest Michigan, Michelle Krumm, sees the challenge as an essential part of the Northern Michigan community because most employee wellness programs are limited to large companies.
“We are able to provide a holistic approach to wellness and a service not typically available to small businesses. [There are] over 200 workplaces in these participating counties; the majority being classified as small business,” explains Krumm.
Furthermore, the challenge allows United Way of Northwest Michigan to further ingrain their mission of gathering resources in the surrounding community as a way of helping those people most in need. Krumm notes, “We are able to do that because of our partners and outreach in the five-county area…[the challenge] gives both employers and employees access to a valuable wellness program.”
Over the years, the Live Healthy Live United 365 Challenge has created a slew of positive benefits for the employees and businesses involved. Krum highlights, “Working together helps participants stay on track. Education and awareness go a long way toward changing behaviors, but having your employers and team support during break or lunch time makes long term success more attainable.” As the above studies stated, providing programs such as this challenge boost engagement and participation in a common cause.
“The challenge ignites interest; participation increases knowledge, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families, and sustaining positive and lasting changes,” summarizes Krumm.
Photo credit: United Way of Northwest Michigan