Beginning April 1, University of Colorado employees who are enrolled in a CU Health Plan will be eligible to earn up to $300 a year by exercising for at least 12, 30-minute periods per month and tracking their progress through the free Be Colorado Move. program.
Mark Gelband, who is directing the program, discussed the new initiative during the March 21 monthly meeting of the University of Colorado Staff Council.
To document their exercise online, participants will be able to use certain mobile devices and a free app from Be Colorado Move. as well as a variety of wireless trackers, including FitBit or a Garmin device, Gelband said.
Gelband said data shows that claims associated with a sedentary lifestyle are among the leading drivers of health care costs. “We wanted to make the largest investment in people, because for individuals, it will be the single best thing they can do for their health,” he said. “And collectively for our university community, it’s the best investment we can make for everybody’s wellness.”
CU, University of Colorado Hospital and University Physicians Inc. employees and retirees who are primary members of a CU Health Plan are eligible to participate. Gelband said he is exploring ways to expand the program to dependents and other members of the CU employee community.
Along with tracking physical activity, to collect incentives participants must complete a SUCCEED Health Assessment, a questionnaire that evaluates their current health and is a tool that helps users achieve their goals. Gelband said anyone completing the assessment by April 1 will be entered in a drawing to win one of 12 $300 airfare vouchers.
Participants must also complete an annual biometric screening in the fall, or submit a physician’s form. The screening, considered a preventative test and therefore covered by insurance, records basic measurements including blood pressure, height and weight, and cholesterol.
Visit http://becolorado.org/programs/ for more information about Be Colorado programs.
“We want to invest in our community being healthier in a way we know that makes a difference,” Gelband said. “We’re trying to help change the culture.”
Gelband also is exploring successful programs that encourage physical activity on other campuses that might be possible systemwide initiatives. One is CU Walks, a free, social, 1.5-mile daily walk on the Boulder campus. (For more information, visit http://www.colorado.edu/cuwalks/.)
“It’s a very communal thing and something that we would like to try to extend in the near future to all the campuses,” Gelband said.
Council members also selected winners of this year’s Service Excellence Awards, which are presented to one individual from each campus and system administration who have provided outstanding volunteer service to their campus, community/civic/professional activities, and the university as a whole through involvement in staff issues, committee work, teamwork, professional development of peers and community relations.
The awards, which include a $1,000 cash prize, will be presented at the All Staff Council Conference on April 12 at Lawrence Street Center on the Denver campus.
Get on the Move. and SUCCEED