Healthy You Activities, Like the College's Annual Walking Challenge, Lead to Lower Insurance Premiums

June 12, 2015
BBJ Award for Healthiest Employers

The College’s second Annual Active You Walking Challenge wrapped up last week. Nearly 350 faculty and staff members participated in this year’s challenge and, collectively, walked a total of 181,343,372 steps—a distance equal to 80,050 miles!

“We know participants enjoy this event,” said Marymichelle Delaney, associate director of human resources operations and total compensation. “It builds community and connections [and] it keeps us focused on being positive and maintaining and increasing our health and well-being.”

The top walkers in this year’s challenge were Reebs, Fatima and Richard D. (some participants were identified by first name or first name and last initial only). Four other participants, William B., Wayne B., Tracey and Jesse, were each recognized for logging over 2 million steps. In other categories, Sandy Thompson and Tracey Thompson were named “unsung heroes” after peer nominations for providing “positive impact and encouragement,” Dan Saponaro won “Best Video,” and the award for “Best Selfie” went to Jess Krywosa.

The Walking Challenge is just one of several initiatives offered by the College through the Healthy You program. Healthy You is part of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education, an organization of 15 area colleges and universities that fosters collaboration on the development and practical implementation of cost saving and quality improvement ideas.

Healthy You, which was launched at Wellesley in 2011, offers incentives and a variety of events, programs and online resources to help employees get and stay healthy, including lunchtime seminars, health fairs with on-campus biometric screenings, and smoking cessation and weight management programs. As part of the launch of the initiative, the College also eliminated employee fees for use of the Keohane Sports Center.

Investments in the Healthy You program are paying off—for the College and for employees—in measurable ways. According to Delaney, there has been a significant decline in rate increases for medical insurance premiums every year since 2011. Thanks in large part to this program, the Boston Business Journal also named Wellesley a “2015 Healthiest Employer” earlier this year.

Carolyn Slaboden, assistant vice president and director of human resources and equal opportunity, said HR will be rolling out additional programs for employees designed to respond to needs and interests in different life stages, including programs to support financial well-being and work-life balance.