Wellness Challenges

The Office of Work/Life offers wellness challenges to support your well-being.

blue line
Healthy Lifestyle Challenge Logo

The Healthy Lifestyle Challenge (HLC) is a worksite wellness program developed by the Office of Work/Life that encourages Columbia employees to make positive changes which can lead to a healthier lifestyle. As an additional benefit, the Healthy Lifestyle Challenge serves to create increased levels of inter- and intra-departmental social exchange and contributes to a positive work culture.

Why Do It?
Chronic conditions are among the leading causes of death in the United States although they are largely preventable with behavior adjustments.

Program Aims:

  • Increase employee satisfaction, energy, and overall health
  • Increase level of interdepartmental social exchange and positive work   culture

When Is It?
Weekly challenges are developed for a five week period of time. Including registration and awards, the program lasts seven weeks total.


How It Works:
Each week, employees will be challenged to adopt of maintain a healthy lifestyle behavior.  
Week 1 - EAT 5: Eat five cups of fruits and vegetables each day
Week 2 - MOVE 30: Exercise for 30 minutes a day
Week 3 - TAKE 10: Take the time to relax at least 10 minutes each day
Week 4 - SLEEP 7: Sleep seven hours a night
Week 5 - 4 ME: Take care of yourself with daily health habits

How to Launch the Program
Designate someone to coordinate a Healthy Lifestyle Challenge in your department or school.  Have the coordinator contact the Office of Work/Life to register, discuss logistics, receive materials, and  set-up the participant registration survey.

The Take the Stairs campaign encourages the Columbia community to choose the stairs instead of the elevator as a quick way to get physical activity and save electricity.  

The Mount Kilimanjaro Take the Stairs Team Challenges are designed to encourage physical activity, promote good health, and save electricity, while working together as a team.

Why do it?

If able, stair climbing has many benefits:

  • Taking the stairs is good for the environment because it conserves electricity.
  • Using the stairs is often faster than waiting for the elevator, especially during peak times. Typically, taking the stairs for trips of 7 floors or less is the fastest way to get to your destination.
  • Walking up the stairs burns around 700% the number of calories burned standing in an elevator.
  • Being active is healthy for your heart, muscles, and bones! Taking the stairs can improve cardiovascular health, good cholesterol, bone density, and muscular strength.
  • Overall, being physically active can benefit your physical, mental, and cognitive well-being. Using the stairs can provide you with an energy boost during stressful times.

 How It Works:

Challenge teams of colleagues to ‘virtually climb’ Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (2,578 flights; 38,680 steps) in 28 days.

How to Launch the Program
Designate someone to coordinate a Take the Stairs Challenge in your department or school.  Have the coordinator contact the Office of Work/Life to register, discuss logistics, and receive materials.