Three days before Humana’s 100 Day Dash in 2016, Jamie Edmonds, a Consumer Experience consultant in Phoenix, Ariz., had heart surgery to replace her aortic valve due to complications from a congenital heart defect. Jamie’s team was concerned about her and confused as to why she would still sign up for Humana’s annual step challenge.
“I told them not to worry, that I would make it to a million steps,” said Jamie. “A large part of recovering from heart surgery is walking. A couple days after surgery, I was well enough to start walking around the hospital so I had my husband bring me my Fitbit. I didn’t get many steps and what steps I did get around the ICU felt more exhausting than after I finished a marathon. Once I was discharged, my doctor’s orders were to walk, walk, walk. The Dash was truly my motivation to walk as much as I did during my recovery.”
After 100 days, Jamie had achieved her goal of one million steps and this year she has committed to go even farther and get 1.25 million steps.
Jamie won’t be alone. Forty-three percent of Humana associates participated in last year’s Dash, and that number is expected to grow once Dashers are tabulated. The Dash, which started April 2, is open to all associates and their adult dependents who participate in Go365, a wellness rewards program. Steps are tracked by pedometers or other fitness devices, and associates with physical disabilities or medical conditions that prevent them from walking/running are participating in an alternative workout program. Accepting alternative workouts is a way to engage even more associates in the Dash and reflects Humana’s inclusive culture focused on well-being.
Jamie contributed one million hard fought steps to Humana’s total of 16 billion steps in 2016, half a billion more than in 2015. More than 9,000 associates who participated improved their step counts over 2015. Unhealthy Days have also declined for Humana associates – from 6.1 Unhealthy Days a month in 2012 to 5.2 in 2016.
The Dash has also partnered with the Humana Foundation for a third year. If Humana associates reach an overall step goal of 17 billion steps by the end of the Dash, the Humana Foundation will give $17,000 to a charity selected by associates. Make-A-Wish America was selected by associates in 2016 and received last year’s grant.
“I used to take physical activity for granted,” Jamie said. “My heart surgery and other health issues this past year completely changed my perspective. It used to be that ‘I have to run’ or ‘I have to get my steps in.’ Now it’s ‘I get to run’ and ‘I get to get my steps.’”
The 100 Day Dash runs through Monday, July 10.