Every Wednesday for eight weeks, MetLife employees are enjoying the fall weather.
They meet in the Ballantyne Corporate Park and take a 45-minute walk on a nature trail that borders the golf course, with trees, flowers and ponds along the way. The leader of the group is Lisa Johnson of the YMCA Corporate Wellness Center.
“A corporate walking group is a great way for employees to push away from their desks, talk to their teammates and get active,” Johnson said.
Fifty-two employees have signed up, but not everyone can come each week.
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“We have varying fitness levels in the group,” Johnson said. “Employees who want more of a challenge can climb the stairs in a parking garage along the trail.”
The two mile trail along the golf course is not formally named, but it is available to the general public. Johnson is increasing the distance throughout the eight-week session, and she’s added a section of the newly established Willard Trail.
MetLife purchased pedometers for each participant. They are encouraged to submit total weekly walking steps to Johnson. She gives out a prize, like a yoga mat or a lunchbox, to the person who gets the most steps.
“The pedometers are motivating,” Johnson said. “Participants have walked in a misting rain, and they were spotted walking the parking garage when I had to cancel due to bad weather.”
MetLife is partnering with the YMCA Corporate Wellness Center in other areas like team building, running groups, stress management workshops, CPR classes and corporate sports.
Greg DiBell is a claims adjuster at MetLife and an employee who is active in the walking group.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet other people on the campus from different business units,” he said. “I get away from my desk and feel energized the rest of the afternoon.”
Johnson said 10,000 steps a day is recommended.
“Research shows that companies who invest in corporate health programs have an edge when it comes to attracting and retaining employees,” Johnson said. “Other benefits include increased morale and productivity.”