The Monroe County School system initiated a workplace wellness plan, Spring Break Walkout, in which walking paths were measured and posters with directions were placed at each school. Employees were encouraged to walk before or after school or during their lunch break. For every mile walked, they would put a star by their name on a board. Small prizes were given to the winners, those that walked the most miles, and to all those that participated. Employees took advantage of walking paths and the friendly competition to see who would get the most stars.
As a district we know employees that are healthier and feel better in general, miss fewer days of work and perform better when they are at work. The Spring Break Walk-out helped several employees to improve their health and to just feel better. We had one employee that was able to reduce their blood pressure medicine, another whose doctor advised daily exercise and this program provided the motivation to exercise, an employee who is diabetic noted that blood sugar levels were better than ever and still another said they just felt better and it helped to reduce their stress level.
The participants from all schools and the Board of Education walked a total of 1,101 miles from January 28th- April 3rd. The American Heart Association notes that research has shown that the benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can help you:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Improve blood lipid profile
- Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance mental well-being.
We have noted positive results from our program and hope that it will continue at our schools. Our employees that have participated have benefited and the students that have observed them walking have a positive example to follow.
Pictures of some of the participants and winners: