It wasn’t long before fellow nurses and others on his unit began asking about the next Wellness Walking Challenge. Mulet-Perez admits that he wasn’t familiar with the challenge when he first assumed his wellness resource partner role, but he quickly became acquainted.
“I started signing people up. I learned how the system works and how people can register through the app, and then you get to make a team,” he said. “It was really fun.”
Mulet-Perez said that while people were signing up for the challenge — which he was pleased to see — he wasn’t prepared for the competitive streak it would bring out in his colleagues.
“As the challenge started, people got super competitive,” he said. “People would be checking in to see where we ranked, how we were doing.”
He remembers one of the top managers in his unit checking in nearly every day to see how the team was doing. Mulet-Perez said the Walking Challenge also served as a great team-building tool because people who didn’t necessarily hang out together on the unit were interacting and getting to know each other better.
Rubek said the spring and fall walking challenges are the Wellness events that have the highest number of employees who participate.
“It’s one of the longest-running programs here,” Rubek said. “It started out completely manual — there was no map, no app, no automation. Teams just tracked their progress and submitted averages, and the person running the challenge calculated it all in an Excel file.”
Today, participants can download the Walker Tracker app, which not only tracks activity but provides maps, wellness tips and facilitates easy communication.
Rubek said the current walking challenge runs through Oct. 30 and is themed around the NFL.
“Kick-off football season with our latest NFL Stadium Tour walking challenge!” according to the Wellness website. “As you tackle your way through the map, you’ll learn about the history of each NFL stadium and the teams they host. Unlike the football players you’ll read about it, you won’t need cleats for this challenge. Get drafted today and we’ll see you on the field.”
Kish and Mulet-Perez have also participated in numerous other wellness programs through GatorCare Wellness and they both encourage others to explore the offerings.
“They have all been very, very good,” Kish said. “I hope this inspires others to participate.”
Visit www.gatorcare.org/wellness to learn more about Fresh Start, walking challenges and a variety of other guided and self-paced programs designed to improve employees’ overall health.