Steppin’ Sycamores

Wellness doesn’t have to be complicated… often times it is the simple programs that engage people the most.

In January 2014, Spectrum Health Systems implemented a 6 – week walking program at Indiana State University called Steppin’ Sycamores.  The program was designed to encourage participants to move more and eat less.  Each participant received a free pedometer at the beginning of the program as a way to track their steps.  Each week participants were given a destination, a distance and a daily recommended step amount.  By logging their steps with the Spectrum wellness coordinator and achieving weekly step goals, participants had the chance to win prizes that included, Pacers tickets, Colts tickets, FitBits, and a Wii Mini and Wii Mini fitness game.

246 ISU employees registered for the program and 50,246,301 total steps were logged during the 6 week program.

Testimonies from participants in the Steppin’ Sycamores program:

“I loved the Steppin’ Sycamores program. I lost 26 pounds and the blood pressure screening made me realize I had to go to the doctor! I went to my doctor, am now on blood pressure medication, and now me and the doctor are getting my blood pressure under control.  The program gave me an opportunity for an honest look at where I was with wellness and encouragement to begin the process of getting where I need to go.”

“The program made me realize it’s not about changing your lifestyle to fit your healthier habits; it’s about figuring out a way to make healthier habits fit your present lifestyle. Also note, Erin is the one who helped me make that connection.”

“I started my wellness journey by participating in the Steppin’ Sycamores walking challenge in January 2013 in which I tracked my step number on the free pedometer provided by ISU. I also attended the Well on Wednesday series event ‘Let’s Move: A Physical Approach to Wellness’ presented by Dr. Derek Kingsley. I realized I needed to spend my time focusing on getting healthy, not on dieting and looking good. It was simple, just start moving. I started going to the Student Rec. Center on my lunch hour. When spring came, I started running outdoors with my daughters. I also started eating healthier. I started focusing more on the numbers from my medical exam instead of the number on the scale. In April, I signed up for the ISU training for the blues program. My daughter and I followed the 12 week training schedule and in September we both ran and completed the Blues Mini Marathon. This was the first mini that I’d ever run in my life. I have lost a total of twenty pounds and my medical numbers have improved!”

“Since the start of Steppin’ Sycamores, I try to run the stairs at least once a day. Up to the fourth floor, down to the basement, and back to third. If I remember right, I once counted about 200 steps/stairs…. A quick, and fairly intense workout!”

“I try to get more steps each day. I don’t exactly “run” the stairs, but I do use my restroom breaks as stair-climbing opportunities several times a day. 3 flights up to the roof door, 5 flights down to the basement, then back to 1st. I also use meal prep time and cleanup time at home to do continuous side-steps and mini-runs back and forth, singing loudly, for 30 minutes or so. Makes the kitchen duties less boring, reduces my stress level, and lets me get in a lot of steps per minute. Don’t laugh, it works for me.”

Erin Milliken
Onsite Wellness Coordinator