Kent State Named One of the Most Active Employers in the Nation
Team Kent State “moves” up the leaderboard
Kent State University has been designated as one of the Top 25 most active employers in the country. The university placed 17th in the Large Employer category of this year’s national On the Move Workplace Challenge. That is a significant improvement from last year’s 29th-place finish.
“Our employees continue to demonstrate their passion for opportunities to engage in their personal well-being,” says Kim Hauge, director for employee wellness at Kent State. “As a team, they rose to the occasion to move more, learn more, assess more and cheer on their colleagues.”
The On the Move challenge, developed by the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), partners with organizations around the country to take a stand for more movement and improved cultures of well-being for employees. The challenge can cut sedentary behavior in half and create a groundswell of support for more physical activity during the workday.
“For the second year in a row, employees have responded very favorably to the difference this challenge has made for them as they seek opportunities to incorporate healthy habits into their workday,” Hauge says. “It has become clear that On the Move is a valued program that employees often opt into, and remain a part of, long after the competitive period ends.”
Hauge says that Kent State employees chose to engage in the On the Move challenge for a variety of reasons, including wanting to help the university become recognized as a healthy workplace and wanting to be a better role model for their kids.
“What individuals discover about themselves, and physical activity in general, is often more than they ever bargained for,” Hauge says. “We get emails and survey results where employees talk about their A1C levels normalizing, cholesterol numbers falling into healthy ranges or simply learning that all movement matters! For some, that is a huge relief to know that they can move intermittently throughout the day and reap the same benefits as a 30- to 60-minute workout. Learning that all movement matters, and why, is an important health behavior to acquire given the sedentary work environment many of us find ourselves in today.”
Kent State competed with 84 employers representing more than 85,000 employees in the 12-week online challenge that ran from April to June. The challenge engaged employees with educational resources, video coaching, social support and, of course, lots of movement. Employees tracked their activity types, duration and intensity to work toward 100 daily “move points.” Tracking was done using a wearable device, such as a Fitbit or Garmin, or through manual entry.
“On the Move was designed to build a culture for more movement into an organization,” says Ryan Picarella, president of WELCOA. “Traditional wellness program challenges do not zero in on culture change or connect employees with ‘whys’ that matter for being active — so we created something that did.”
“Kent State University shares this vision and is excited to have been a part of changing the conversation around physical activity to help employees live a thriving life of meaning and purpose,” Hauge says.
Come Move With Us
All Kent State employees are welcome to join Life on the Move, an ongoing monthly program, similar to the national competition, which improves health behaviors. Topics include financial well-being, stress management, nutrition, brain health, gratitude and more. To join, simply visit https://onthemovemonthly.welcoa.org and enter KentStateThrives247 as your registration code. Registration is open now.
And, this fall, Kent State faculty and staff will have another opportunity for national recognition as the nation’s Most Active University during WELCOA’s upcoming On the Move University Challenge, an exclusive 12-week, university-only wellness competition that begins Oct. 2. More details to follow in the upcoming week.