Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s (BCBSNE) 10K-A-Day wellness challenge hosted by the company’s wellness department motivated employees to walk to better wellness.

The challenge ran six weeks, and employees could go solo to try and make it on the individual leaderboard or form a team and take on the challenge together.

“Ten thousand steps is a great goal to help all individuals to stay active,” said Carrie Kahnk, wellness coordinator at BCBSNE. “Regular walking can help with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression and more.”

The overall goal was to track 315,000 steps during the challenge period.

“Although we promoted 10,000 steps each day with the challenge being 10K-A-Day, we incentivized our employees who reached on average 7,500 steps each day,” said Kahnk. “We wanted to meet participants where they were starting on their physical well-being journey, and 10,000 steps can be a big jump, especially with people going out less during COVID-19.”

Exceeding the goal of 7,500 steps in a day, Alejandro Maldonado, a service technician at BCBSNE, averaged 17,940 steps a day during the competition.

“The challenge has helped my health,” said Maldonado. “I started a diet in tandem with the challenge, and I have lost 10 pounds.”

His strategy was to keep it simple and competitive.

“I kept an eye on my step count and did my best to move as much as possible each day,” said Maldonado. “I enjoy challenges like these because I like participating with a team who is as competitive as me.”

Maldonado and other employees could use the 10K-A-Day app to check in on their progress and stay motivated throughout the challenge.

“The app allows employees to easily track their steps or connect an app or device to help with logging,” said Kahnk. “It can make walking fun by taking employees on a virtual journey with attractions, giving them daily tips, providing recipes and showing leaderboards.”

The bonus of a challenge like this one is just about anyone can participate.

“Walking can be approachable for everyone because it doesn’t take a fancy gym membership or extra equipment,” said Kahnk. “All you need is some comfortable shoes.”

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