Leap Year Lesson #150: Competition Can Be Good For Your Health

Posted: June 4, 2012 in Goals
Tags: , , ,

My company – Humana Inc. – began today an internal challenge among employees called the 100 Day Dash.  Any of the 40,000 employees who want to participate are welcome to do so, both individually and as a member of teams.  The challenge is all about how many steps you take daily as measured by the pedometers given us and then uploaded online to HumanaFit.com.  It’s been a couple of years since we last had a stepping challenge, and as a participant in previous challenges (and a high finisher in most of them), I can attest that it’s a fun way to be more active for a set period of time.

There are several components of such a challenge that contribute to its success, such as:

  • It’s more fun to pursue healthy activities (exercise, walking, running, etc.) when others are involved.
  • Signing up for a challenge helps reinforce the commitment to take part.
  • Signing up for a team helps with accountability; we don’t want to let our teams down.
  • Friendly competition can get the juices flowing and result in greater effort put forth.
  • Scheduling a competition for a set time period allows participants to know there is a time coming when they will be able to rest.
  • Cash and other prizes give individuals and teams tangible rewards in addition to the physical benefit of engaging in more healthy behaviors.

I’m a member of two teams for this challenge.  One consists of the four of us in our department.  My son, Jason, and I make up the other team.  While I know I won’t win the individual competition, there is certainly the possibility that one or both of my teams could do very well.

There is much conversation about the challenge going on in our internal social network.  People were excited to get started today and we will hear much during the next 100 days and beyond from participants.  That’s a good thing.

So “thank you!” to my company and to those responsible for putting this together.  And my encouragement goes to all the participants.  Work hard and enjoy the experience.

Leap year lesson #150 is Competition can be good for your health.

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