How heavy is 1,000 pounds? It’s about as heavy as a Grand Piano. How heavy is 228 pounds? It’s about as heavy as a male kangaroo.
You now have a concept of 1,228 pounds, the combined amount of weight that 41 four-person teams lost during the six-weeks of FirstHealth’s 2018 Biggest Winner Corporate Challenge.
The program of the FirstHealth FirstFit employee wellness committee began Feb. 19 and ended March 26 with 164 participants representing Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, Moore Regional – Richmond in Rockingham, Moore Regional-Hoke in Raeford and Montgomery Memorial Hospital in Troy.
As with various other FirstFit initiatives, the Biggest Winner Corporate Challenge was conceived with employee health in mind.
“FirstFit coordinates programs and opportunities such as Sandhills Farm to Table, healthy vending at all FirstHealth hospitals, healthy cafeteria initiatives and the Farmers Market at Moore Regional Hospital, as well as the Biggest Winner Challenge,” says Roxanne Elliott, policy director for FirstHealth Community Health Services. “Each is designed to encourage employees to engage in healthy lifestyle habits.”
The 2018 Biggest Winner challenge started with the formation of teams, often from within work units. As they followed their chosen weight-loss regimen, team members had weekly weigh-ins and reported their numbers to their captain for posting on the FirstFit website. A weekly cash prize went to the individual with the greatest percentage of weight-loss.
“People who are serious about losing weight can use this challenge to jump start the process,” says Challenge coordinator Kristen Cook, a health education specialist with FirstHealth Community Health Services. “Money is a big motivator, and having to weigh-in weekly definitely holds people accountable.”
At the end of the Challenge, the team with the greatest weight-loss percentage won a trophy and each team member received an individual prize.
There was a reason that weekly and overall winners were determined by weight-loss percentage instead of pounds.
“Everybody has a different starting weight,” says Cook. “If you go by percentage, instead of pounds, it evens the playing field.”
The top-performing team, The Determinators from Moore Regional Hospital, lost 7.11 percent of its members’ original body weight (a total of 62 pounds). In addition to their trophy, team members Tina Williams, Shong Xiong, Josh Earp and Shari Brigman had their choice of a fitness tracker or Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card.
Team support was crucial to the success of The Determinators. According to Team Captain Tina Williams, the team did whatever it took to motivate and encourage one another.
“We encouraged one another to make healthy food choices – even if that meant slapping a team member’s hand when reaching for a piece of cake!” she says. “Being part of a team and being held accountable is incredibly helpful.”
The winning team also plans to participate again.
“We are so happy that FirstHealth offered this challenge,” says Williams. “Without question, we will participate again and also encourage more coworkers to participate. We felt healthier, more active and more engaged with one another during the six-weeks of the challenge.”
According to Cook, the six-week challenge is an opportunity for employees to focus on themselves.
“My ultimate goal for the annual challenge is for people to use this time to improve their health,” she says. “That may be getting back into the routine of exercising, changing up eating habits, or even reducing stress. It’s not just about the number on the scale, it’s about being your best self, which in the end impacts your work, relationships and overall well-being.”
Feature photo: FirstHealth’s Biggest Winner Challenge Winners, “The Determinators,” from left: Shong Xiong, Josh Earp, Tina Williams and Shari Brigman pose with their team trophy and various prizes rewarded from winning the corporate-wide challenge.