The Oregon Clinic Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Summer Fitness Challenge for Employees

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Oregon Clinic

Employees challenged to be active for 20 minutes a day to honor 20 years of commitment, care, and compassion

To encourage employees to be active and healthy, and to commemorate its 20th anniversary of providing specialty medicine services to the Portland community, The Oregon Clinic kicked off its 2014 Summer Fitness Challenge with the theme of “20 Minutes for 20 Years.” More than 300 employees participated in the eight-week challenge, running from July 1 through August 22, and more than 230 participants reached the goal of 20 minutes of daily fitness activity on average. Overall the challenge was a success with the company logging nearly 800,000 minutes of exercise during July and August.

“We have done a wellness challenge every summer for the past several years. For awhile we did a walking challenge and gave out pedometers to the staff. After several successful years of the summer walking program, we decided to change it up to include any form of fitness activity and to make it a team challenge. We hoped the team aspect would create camaraderie and support and a little healthy competition amongst co-workers,” shared Melissa Savala, benefits and compensation specialist in charge of organizing the fitness challenge.

Participating employees were split into 47 teams based on department and in the first week alone they logged more than 70,000 minutes of exercise. Any type of activity outside of normal work requirements counted towards the fitness minutes—this could be anything from walking to marathon running.

The Oregon Clinic used Health Advocate’s online wellness program to log minutes, set fitness goals, and get tips on healthy eating and exercise. The program automatically tallies each team’s exercise totals per week, and ranks them from most to least time exercised on average per person. This way, teams with fewer people are ranked the same as those with more people.

While the fitness challenge is ultimately about getting active and a commitment to health, there are also prizes to reward employees’ hard work. Each pay period the team with the highest average fitness minutes per person receives a free, healthy lunch. At the end of the challenge, there is a drawing for cash prizes among the employees who averaged 20 minutes a day or more throughout the competition.

“The hope is that we all encourage each other toward a healthier lifestyle and that employees find easy ways of adding at least 20 minutes of fitness activity a day into their busy lives. After two months of competition, we know some healthy habits were created both individually and amongst coworkers,” added Savala.