The Office of Work/Life offers wellness challenges to support your well-being.
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.
- 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.
Healthy Lifestyle Challenge 2018
The Healthy Lifestyle Challenge (HLC) is a worksite wellness program developed by the Office of Work/Life that encourages Columbia University employees to make positive changes, which can lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Why Do It?
Chronic conditions are among the leading causes of death in the United States although largely preventable with behavior adjustments.
Many individuals make New Year’s resolutions to change unhealthy behavior and lifestyle—late winter/early spring is a good time to check in with those resolutions.
To support employees in adopting and maintaining healthy behaviors.
To increase employee satisfaction, energy, and overall health.
When is it?
Weekly challenges have been developed for a five-week period of time. The 2018 Healthy Lifestyle Challenge (HLC) will run from Monday, March 19, 2018 - Friday, April 20, 2018.
Weekly challenges run from Monday to Friday.
How it works:
Each week, employees will be challenged to adopt and maintain a new healthy lifestyle behavior to complete the Healthy Lifestyle Wheel. Challenges are cumulative. For more challenge details and scoring, see the FAQ section.
Move 30: Move for 30 minutes a day
Eat 5: Eat 5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day
Relax 10: Take time to relax for at least 10 minutes a day
Sleep 7: Sleep seven hours a night
Hydrate 64: Drink 8 glasses of water a day
This event is over for Spring 2018. Please check back for new programming.
Healthy Lifestyle Challenge FAQ’s
How will I know what’s going on throughout the challenge? You will hear from us throughout the challenge weeks to keep you on track:
- Before starting the challenge week: You will receive an email on the Friday before the new challenge week with details, information, and resources (*challenge week starts on Monday). This will give you time to prepare for the new challenge over the weekend.
- The first challenge week email, Move 30, will be sent on Friday, March 16, 2018.
- Daily tracking (Tuesday-Saturday): You will track your progress with a simple, daily tracking survey which will be sent to you in the morning. You will report on how you did with your healthy behaviors on the previous day.
Did you MOVE 30? EAT 5? You’ll just tell us- yes or no. You will have 24 hours after the survey is sent out to respond with your results. After 24 hours, the survey will be closed and you will not receive points for that day. This will not affect other days of the challenge.
Mid-Week Scoreboard (Wednesday or Thursday): Watch out for a weekly scoreboard email announcing the challenge top contenders. A link to the full scoreboard will be available at: http://worklife.columbia.edu/hlc.
How is the challenge scored? Points will be awarded for completing and recording the various healthy behaviors of the challenge. The challenge is cumulative, meaning that your overall score will reflect your healthy behaviors over a 25-day period.
You will receive one point for completing a challenge.
For MOVE 30: receive one point for completing 30 minutes or more of physical activity daily
For EAT 5: receive one point for consuming 5 cups or more of fruits and vegetables daily
For RELAX 10: receive one point for relaxing 10 minutes or more daily
For SLEEP 7: receive one point for sleeping 7 hours or more nightly
For HYDRATE 64: receive one point for consuming 64 ounces or more of water daily
You are challenged to not only adopt but maintain each healthy behavior. Thus every week you can earn more points than the last. For example:
During week 1 you can earn up to 1 point a day (5 points total for the week)
During week 5 you can earn up to 5 points a day (25 points total for the week)
Is the additional daily health technology related question scored? No, while it is encouraged to experiment with various new apps and technologies to help adopt and maintain healthy behaviors, these questions are not associated with points. Suggestions and guidance relating to specific helpful apps will be provided in the weekly challenge update emails.
Who will see my score? The Office of Work Life staff will review your scores on a weekly basis. They will then share the scores of the top five participants who are in the lead via a weekly scoreboard email.
On the registration survey you may choose to enter your real name or “challenge name alias” if you wish to keep your identity private.
How do I win prizes? Every week and at the end of the challenge there will be a random prize drawing. Winners will be announced in the mid-week email. Winners, don’t forget to claim your prize!
What if I am traveling or on vacation? Continue the good health behaviors as they can be done anywhere. Just remember to take a minute to fill out the online, daily tracking survey.
Who checks my accuracy? No one, we trust you to accurately report your healthy activity.
Where do I direct my questions? Email Daniela Neman, Wellness Specialist, UHC/Optum at firstname.lastname@example.org or Deb Hughes Ndao, Director of Wellness, Office of Work/Life at email@example.com.
What is considered exercise? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, adults should aim to exercise at a moderate-intensity level for at least 150 minutes per week (with a goal of achieving 50-70% maximum heart rate). Or aim to increase heart rate with vigorous-intensity exercise for 75 minutes per week (with a goal of 70-85% maximum heart rate). To find out how to calculate your heart rate, check out the CDC’s guide.
Do I need to change clothes and sweat for 30 minutes? No, movements such as vacuuming, walking to the train or post office, yard work, etc. all count!
Does the 30 minutes need to be continuous? No, exercise can be accumulated throughout the day in bouts of 10 or 15 minutes at a time.
What constitutes eating 5? In general, 1 cup of fruit or ½ cup of dried fruit can be considered 1 cup from the fruit group. And 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or 2 cups of raw leafy greens can be considered 1 cup from the vegetable group. Aim for 2 pieces of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables, or simply make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Do I need to eat 5 fruits and 5 vegetables each day? No, it is combination of the two that add up to 5.
What counts for relaxation? Perform a relaxation technique such as deep breathing, meditation, journaling, reading, listening to soothing music, or sipping your favorite tea while disconnecting from your phone and television. You can also try activities such as self-massage, stretching, breathing techniques, meditation, or aromatherapy.
Does zoning out while watching TV count as relaxation? No. We encourage you to unplug during your 10 minutes of relaxation unless you need an electronic device to perform the exercise- e.g.: listening to music or using a mindfulness meditation mobile app.
Do the 7 hours of sleep have to be continuous? Yes and No. The goal of this task is to encourage people to plan for a good night of sleep, so the 7 hours have to be in a bed at night. If you get up for the restroom in the middle of the night or for your young child, that is fine… just go back to sleep.
Do afternoon naps count? While naps have been shown to be beneficial for some people, for this contest, we are not counting them. Our goal is to encourage you to plan for a good night of sleep.
What if I fall asleep in the recliner watching TV, does that time count? No, we want you to plan to go to bed for a good night’s sleep.
Why 7 hours? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Sleep Foundation recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults.
How much is 64 ounces? Consuming 64 ounces of water is approximately eight- 8-ounce glasses of water.
Does drinking soda, coffee, juice, or sports drinks, or alcoholic beverages count? No.