Walking competition generates ROI of 10 times the cost

Employees at Amherst, N.Y.-based Ivoclar Vivadent started walking in the spring, and for 20 weeks, they didn’t stop. Thirty teams of four people each used pedometers to count their steps and competed to see who could walk the most. Winning teams won gym bags full of prizes. The teams were split into three divisions: walkers, walkers who wanted to lose weight and walkers older than 50.

“They were going crazy, walking during meetings, walking during lunchtime, walking around the office,” says Michele Golding, benefits compensation manager.

Six weeks into the program, two sales people no longer needed cholesterol medication. The 34 people in the weight-loss division had lost a collective 200 pounds.

Golding admits the program is time-consuming, especially time spent keeping stats and recruiting new participants. The company spends about $4,000 every 20 weeks on pedometers and prizes, but Golding says the cost benefits of healthier employees will be about 10 times greater than the program’s expense.

Contact: Michele Golding, compensation benefits manager, at michele.golding@ivoclarvivadent.us.