Employees to walk from Phoenix, Ariz. to Salem, Ore. during new wellness program

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Corban University employees are ready to Walk The Walk and are prepared to prove it during a new wellness challenge.

Human Performance Professor Shannon Simmons worked through the summer to create a program to inspire Corban employees to get up and move. The goal: walk more than 1,300 miles by May 2011. This is the approximate number of miles Corban University traveled from its start in Phoenix, Ariz. to Oakland, Calif. to Salem.

More than 100 people accepted the Walk The Walk challenge to date and are stepping along Corban’s plentiful hills and stairs, hitting treadmills in the gym and parking further away to reach their goals.

In July, Corban University Provost Matt Lucas approached Simmons about starting a wellness program for employees. University leaders had developed a plan to attract and retain high quality employees and Lucas said a wellness program was a part of this “investment.”

“We want to enhance the quality of life for all of our employees,” Lucas said. “We want to be good stewards… and with Shannon, we have this great resource we can tap in to.”

Lucas and Simmons visited with Marion County officials to learn the best approach as they considered a program.

“We really wanted to keep this basement level simple to start,” Simmons said. “We settled on a pedometer program because it is simple with a measurable goal that people can independently do.”

Participants are encouraged to walk 10,000 steps, about five miles, each day. They can track their progress on the Corban Web site as they cyber trek the 3-state journey.

Along the way, participants will have their weight, body mass, total cholesterol and more checked to measure progress. Prizes will be given as people reach designated milestones.

“You can get this for free, which is crazy,” Miller noted. “If you went to your physician, it would cost you for your appointment and the lab work. It’s a great deal and only takes 10 minutes.

“We want to measure specific gains in health,” she said. “The awards and incentives help. We want people to feel like they can realistically do this and they can.”

The Walk The Walk program does more than encourage better health for employees, it sets an example for students to follow, Simmons said.

More than anything, Simmons said the program will ideally serve as a stepping stone toward future health goals.

“It doesn’t have to be this all or nothing crazy person or sloth extremes,” she said. “People can be more self-aware and this is a way to help them do that.”

Participants started logging miles on Sept. 6, but it’s not too late to sign up and even catch up. To register, call Simmons at 8165 or e-mail her at ssimmons@corban.edu.

Nearly 100 employees received free pedometers, however Simmons said supplies ran out due to the program’s popularity. Pedometers can be purchased locally and online for as little as $5 for a basic unit to $30 for an advanced unit.

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