BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge: Two Hennepin County Employee Teams Win Competition’s Exercise and Weight Loss Categories

In Minneapolis, Hennepin County Government employees win two out of three competition categories.

Two teams meet during Hennepin Walking Group's 5K walk through the Minneapolis skyways.

When the BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge kicked off this past February, Hennepin County employees were ready. A total of 1,086 individuals competed in the Challenge on Hennepin County Government teams. By the time it ended on May 6, they had exercised 1,764,465 minutes and walked 248,050,732 steps – enough to walk around the earth’s equator 3.78 times.

Two teams from Hennepin County Government earned a first place ranking in the Exercise and Weight Loss divisions, surpassing 10,000 other participants on more than 1,600 other teams. The “Henn Fair” team placed first in Weight Loss with an average of 9.3 percent weight loss over the course of the competition—a percentage that would bring a 215-pound person down to 195. Hennepin County’s “Skywalkers” ranked first in Exercise with a team average of 88 minutes of exercise per day. The Skywalkers team’s three women and three men walked, biked, ran, gardened and broke a sweat on the local softball field as much as they could. While family events and travel posed challenges for some at times, the team continued to fit in exercise wherever and whenever it could.

“We are all a little thinner and likely a little stronger,” says Steve Compton, Skywalkers team captain. “I am really proud of the team’s efforts. Every individual was key to that success.”

The 88 Hennepin County teams each found their own ways to improve their fitness and health. Formed by county employees in late 2011, the Hennepin Walking Club organized and completed a 5K walk through the downtown Minneapolis skyway system. For five of the 20 participants, it was their first 5K event. Hennepin Walking Club plans to organize an additional 5K walk this fall.

Meghan Rector, dietician and health coach for Hennepin County’s employee wellness program, called HealthWorks, believes the Challenge was a great complement to HealthWorks’ menu of wellness activities and overall mission.

“The Challenge supported individual paths towards creating healthy behavior change, which aligns with HealthWorks’ goal of offering personalized paths towards improved health,” Rector says. “The positive camaraderie and support among team members to engage in healthy behaviors was a key benefit.”

This is the second year that Hennepin County teams have earned high rankings in the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota’s annual Health Challenge. See their 2011 successes.

About the BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge

The BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge is a free statewide competition designed to encourage Minnesota’s employers to help employees adopt healthy lifestyles. The Challenge is sponsored by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota, a group of Minnesota companies joined together to create fun, engaging and informative events and competitions to help Minnesotans get and stay healthy. Alliance members that make this challenge possible include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Cargill, Medica, the Midwest Dairy Association and Target.

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