This post consists of two stories written by Dustin Daniel and published by Walker Tracker.
Dayton School District
Powered by their custodian, Dayton School District (Dayton SD) is utilizing Walker Tracker to build a culture of health and well-being.
All school districts have a singular mission – to educate students and support their basic needs. While this also holds true for Dayton School District, there’s also a focus on the health and well-being of their employees. “We knew we needed to get people moving in our district,” says Nancy Moody, a Dayton SD reading instructor. Walker Tracker was the wellness solution that encouraged physical activity and camaraderie among employees. Nancy became a Walker Tracker admin, and introduced the platform at weekly staff meetings and in Facebook posts.
Walker Tracker was particularly appealing to Custodian John Kempner, who regularly walks thousands of steps each day. After learning more about the platform, John became a Walker Tracker admin and regularly motivated his colleagues. “I am a custodian, I get a lot of steps in the cafeteria during lunch time, so I became a target. Folks were trying to match or exceed my daily step count.” Instead of gloating, John supported his coworkers by championing the cause of Walker Tracker. “I’d keep track of everyone’s steps, and if someone wasn’t uploading their steps daily or weekly, I’d encourage them to do so, and explain the benefits of Walker Tracker.”
The numbers tell the story of a successful partnership: Dayton SD has registered 84 walkers, including 21 in the new calendar year. They’ve walked over 56 million steps with more than 622,000 activity conversions. They’ve also doubled the number of participants since beginning their program in Q4 2019. John says each day he sees evidence that this partnership is working. “People are a little more active than they were before Walker Tracker. You’re finding out who the competitive people are.”
Going forward, Dayton SD expects to increase participation even more by engaging employees at their junior high and high school locations.
Seaside School District
By using Walker Tracker, Seaside School District (Seaside SD) created a more efficient and inclusive wellness program and culture.
Walking meetings, walking clubs and step challenges have been staples of Seaside School District’s wellness program. Previously, employees at the district’s three school buildings ran informal step challenges that offered raffle tickets after walking around the block. While this approach garnered support at each building, it made district wide engagement, participation and step tracking difficult for Seaside’s District Wellness Coordinator, Bob Evans. “I knew that having something like Walker Tracker, where you can do bigger group challenges and where we don’t have to track steps with pencil and paper, would be beneficial. The step counting features in Walker Tracker got us started.”
Seaside launched Walker Tracker in October 2019 using district-wide email, a monthly Wellness Wednesday newsletter, and all building announcements to encourage registration. They designated a time and location for employees to receive technical assistance if needed. Seaside quadrupled participation between their first challenge, Global Cuisine, and their second challenge, Battle of the Buildings. They purchased a trophy which would be awarded to the building with the highest percentage of employees who completed the challenge. “Until we brought Walker Tracker in, our wellness program was dormant at the high school level. We have a lot of competitive teachers at our high school,” says Evans.
Walker Tracker has become a fixture in Seaside’s wellness program. They saw their highest participation numbers during their Q4 challenge, 7 Wonders of the World. Evans points to several reasons why this pairing has been successful. “The friendly competition with employees getting to know each other has been great, and we’ve had our admins and principals on board. If wellness is promoted district wide, it gives you permission to take time and go for a walk and focus on your wellness.”
The Walker Tracker is one benefit of being an OEA Choice Trust School Employee Wellness (SEW) Grant recipient. To learn more about the SEW Grant and download the application, please visit the SEW Grant page.