At least that’s the idea behind my organization’s wellness policies. To be eligible for discounted co-pays (or in my case a gift card) you have to complete a health assessment and some type of wellness activity. The activity should be based on your health assessment has to be logged into the insurance company’s system and be approved. A variety of wellness activities can be completed to obtain the rewards.
We gathered a team for a district wide volleyball tournament and in the 2 hours of volleyball playing we earned the desired reward. I’m not quite sure how 2 hours of volleyball is equivalent to 8 weeks of activity, but that’s out of my purview. I had already started my 8 weeks of activity before I knew that, but I continued with the plan just to see what would happen. My chosen three activities were to “be more active” walk 10,000 steps, be less stressed, and to sleep 8 hours a night.
Only one night during the last 8 weeks did I actually sleep 8 hours!! Several nights I got over 7 hours of sleep in, but woke up refreshed. I think the idea of trying to get as much sleep as possible is good, but 8 hours seems a little arbitrary.
Another goal was to be more active. But really what does that mean? The method of tracking this was to walk more steps. But really for me, that isn’t an accurate measure of my fitness. Being more active would be more consistent at Crossfit or running/biking more often. But why work too hard for this assessment of wellness?
So I set the goal of walking 10,000 steps and used my phone’s step tracking software. The problem with using your phone is that if you ever just leave it sit on the desk or counter then you miss counting those steps. And I’m not sure how the Fitbit tracks this but while riding my bike I would get a lot of extra steps and on some of my runs I wouldn’t get very many. So this isn’t exactly the most accurate look at the steps I take. But it was a good look at wow, I was super busy that day and walked around the building a ton! If you use a Fitbit there is direct integration into their website which makes a plan such as walk 10,000 steps pretty simple. In the 8 weeks I monitored this I “walked” 281 miles!
My initial health assessment said I had too much stress and that I needed to reduce it. Well duh. I felt like the tracking for this goal was the least objective. Each day I chose certain stressors and then how stressed I was by it. So there wasn’t a true consistent metric across time to see if you were able to reduce stress in one area or another. Monitoring my stress over the time frame when we moved made for some stressful days! It is also hard to quantify stress over the whole day in a 5 point scale. The short-term high stress over 3 or 4 days while selling and buying a house can be averaged out if I said there was no work or family stress that day. Here is a look at the stress data in two different ways. Obviously work and family are the most stress inducing things in life!
Does your work place have a wellness program? As of this minute I’m ranked 19th “company-wide” for total number of points.