In an era of state-at-home orders and social distancing, participants in Million Mile Month 2020 reported they were motivated to exercise more and felt more productive at work, according to survey results.
HealthCode’s Million Mile Month is a virtual local-to-global wellness challenge in which participants track physical activity – from walking to dancing to yoga to gardening – with a goal of reaching 1 million miles collectively as a global community in a month.
With schools, gyms and offices closed and millions of employees working from home to slow the spread of COVID-19, HealthCode kicked off Million Mile Month a week early on March 25 and extended Million Mile Month through May 31 to provide an incentive for participants to maintain momentum.
“When we launched Million Mile Month in 2014, our goal was to encourage people to move more and become more connected as a community. This year, when people around the world engaged in social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, it has been more important than ever to remain active and connected while battling stress,’’ said Steve Amos, CEO of the nonprofit HealthCode. “These survey results show we are making great strides in promoting active, healthy living in this challenging time.’’
HealthCode surveyed 240 participants April 30-May 1 on their progress. Of respondents, 86 percent reported the challenge motivated them to increase their exercise or physical activity, whether it was logging more miles, taking longer runs, engaging in activity more days a week or simply “getting off the couch in the first place,’’ according to the results of the Million Mile Month 2020 participant via Survey Monkey.
These numbers represent an increase over 2017’s results when 83 percent of reported they were motivated to exercise more, according to HealthCode.
“I am a critical care nurse and this challenge kept my mind off of work and allowed me to focus on fitness, mindfulness, and nature,’’ one participant reported.
In addition, 71 percent reported they felt more productive at work, compared to 65 percent in 2017, results showed.
“It just helped motivate me to stay accountable despite every obstacle in my way,’’ a Million Mile Month participant reported.
In addition, 82 percent of those surveyed said they felt better, which is an increase over 73 percent in 2017. Of respondents, 54 percent reported they felt motivated to eat healthier, compared to 55 percent in 2017.
Several businesses and other organizations signed up for Million Mile Month to encourage their employees to remain active and healthy and the results show that commitment is paying off.
Survey results show 64 percent of respondents said participating in Million Mile Month increased their overall satisfaction with their company, compared to 57 percent in 2017. Also, 82 percent identified their company as supporting a healthy culture – an increase from 75 percent in 2017.
“I work in HR and have been really focused on providing ways for our employees to stay healthy and connected while working remote or staying socially distanced. Million Mile month provided a great program to help motivate employees and keep everyone connected about the leaderboard,’’ said one participant. “It’s also been great personally. My husband and I are both working remote at this time and we’ve been taking a mile walk together most days. It’s been fun to use that time to connect and to see the cumulative total on the leaderboards when I log those walks.’’
Amos said: “These results underscore that healthy employees are happy, productive employees. We are laying the groundwork for more virtual events this summer, including Triathlon-in-a-Month-in-Training in June and Triathlon in a Month in July to keep up the pace toward healthy lifestyles.’’