Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) recently held the MARVELous Step Challenge, pushing Team Blue members to become heroes of their own wellness journey by logging their steps throughout March.

The challenge, hosted by BCBSNE’s wellness department, divided 284 employee participants into five superhero themed teams. Participants were encouraged to reach the top of the individual leaderboard and win as a team.

“A little friendly competition among coworkers helped Team Blue become mindful of their physical activity, increase how many steps they’re taking each day and motivated them to climb the leaderboard,” Carrie Khank, BCBSNE’s wellness coordinator, said.

BCBSNE uses the Vitality platform in its wellness initiatives, encouraging employees to improve their overall wellness by taking classes, logging workouts and seeing their doctor regularly. Employees can earn points toward rewards by staying active.

The challenge encouraged teams to log the highest daily average number of steps to win 50 Vitality points. In addition, participants who logged 235,000 steps or more earned 200 Vitality points.

“We wanted employees to get involved in our wellness programs by signing up and connecting their devices to our Vitality program,” Khank said.

Exceeding the 235,000 steps goal and topping the individual leaderboard was Daryl Teitler, vice president of human resources, who logged 631,928 steps in March.

“I try to get in about 15,000 steps daily,” Teitler explained. “With the challenge, I thought, ‘since I’m already averaging 15,000 steps currently, why don’t I shoot for 20,000 steps?’”

Teitler credits his diabetes diagnosis a year and a half ago as his motivation to stay active and shoot for a high step goal each day.

“When you’re my age, the motivation for health takes on a different view,” Teitler said. “I was never put on any medication, and I don’t want to be on medication – walking helps.”

The six teams logged a total of 48,255,083 steps throughout the challenge, averaging 1,556,615 steps per day, which is about 21,503 miles or 53 trips across Nebraska.

After completing the competition in March, Khank encourages Team Blue to continue logging into Vitality to improve their overall wellness.

“We have a great rewards program that employees can connect to their devices and earn points daily for being physically active,” Khank said. “We will continue adding challenges in the future and want the connection and team mentality they formed during this challenge to stay.”

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