30-Day Challenge Begins by February 24 and Ends by April 4, 2014
Download WellMASS Weight Loss Champion Guide
Purpose: To provide participants with the tools needed to successfully lose weight by encouraging them to incorporate regular physical activity and healthy eating habits into their daily routines.
Description: The WellMASS Weight Loss Challenge is intended to help employees become more active and eat healthier on a daily basis. By incorporating the easy nutrition and exercise tips provided throughout the Challenge, employees will be on their way to meeting the goal of losing 1-2 pounds each week, or 6-12 pounds by the end of the challenge. This is a self-paced Challenge, and this toolkit can serve as a set of guidelines for you to implement it within your agency; feel free to modify or adapt the Challenge to fit the needs of your agency’s employees. While it’s up to you how you track and report your agency’s participation, there will be a state-wide weight loss competition alongside this Challenge. In order for your agency to participate in the competition, you must begin the Challenge by February 24 so that we can receive your results by the deadline of April 4, after which we will announce the winning agency (the agency whose participants achieve the greatest average percent body weight lost). Participants from the winning agency will receive a healthy lunch, provided by WellMASS. In addition, employees who complete the Challenge and take the WellMASS Health Assessment will be offered an additional incentive: the chance to be entered into a raffle for a year-long membership to Planet Fitness.
Duration: 6 weeks.
Communications: Communication pieces are below. They can be opened and personalized with your agency and contact information. Any text highlighted in red needs to be customized.
Task List/Timeline: There are two ways to run this Challenge: you can follow the suggestions below and send participants information each week, or you can provide participants with all information up front, at the start of the Challenge.
Planning for the Challenge
- Choose one person (it could be the Wellness Champion, or someone else within the agency) to serve as the primary contact/facilitator for this challenge. While there should be one primary point of contact, it may help to establish a team and divide up the workload related to the Challenge.
- Set a date to start the Weight Loss Challenge. This is designed to be a 6-week challenge; you can start at any time, but in order to participate in the state-wide weight loss competition, your agency must begin the challenge by February 24.
- Determine if your agency will be participating in the state-wide weight loss competition. If so, email Ashley Mason with your agency name, location (city/town), your challenge start date, and the number of employees who will be participating. In order to participate in the competition, your agency will need a minimum of 4 participants.
- Determine when you would like employees to submit their completed trackers to you. Remember, you will need to submit your results by April 4 in order to qualify your agency for the competition prize and individual employees for the HA completion raffle, so you might want to ask for completed trackers before this date.
- Determine how employees will notify you that they are going to participate (email, sign-up sheet, participants print out forms and hand them into you, etc.).
- Decide how you will distribute Challenge materials and collect the tracking forms at the end of the Challenge.
- Determine if your worksite will be holding any events/activities related to the Challenge. Here are some ideas:
- Fun walk. Organize a lunch-hour walk by specifying a time or a distance (e.g., 15 minutes or one mile). These are most effective when they are only for fun, not a race.
- Special Guests. Have an agency or department head promote the program at an all-employee meeting: “(Supervisor’s name)” is up for the WellMASS Weight Loss Challenge. Are You?”
- Bulletin board. Decorate your wellness bulletin board with balloons, posters, healthy eating and exercise tips, and other promotional materials.
- Drop-by table. Set up a table in high-traffic areas (perhaps at the entrance to your worksite or in a break-room) and have sign-up or weight management information available.
- Incentives. Offer a “Jeans Day” or other incentive for those that sign up for the Challenge.
- Healthy competition. Encourage friendly competition between departments within your agency. Doing so may enhance program participation and employee morale.
- Weekly Weigh-ins. Invite participants to weigh in at the office at the same time and day each week (e.g., Monday morning). If your agency does not have a scale, you will need to purchase one, as WellMASS is not able to provide scales for participating agencies. Ask each participant to pitch in $1 or $2 – you can buy a high-quality scale for under $20!
- Action clubs. Develop action clubs (e.g., walking, running) to support ongoing employee participation and interaction. Place information and sign-up sheets on your bulletin board.
- Buddy walk. Encourage participants to invite a buddy to walk before work, at lunch, or after work. It’s easier to stay motivated and it’s more fun when you have someone to be active with.
- Take 10. Encourage employees to “take 10”—a 10-minute physical activity break during their workday.
- Healthy potluck lunch. Organize a kick-off, mid-program, or closing potluck lunch for your agency to encourage participation. Have participants discuss new activities or sports that they have tried and encourage them to bring healthy recipes to share. Recognize participants for the effort they are putting into increasing their weight loss.
- Start to communicate the Challenge using the Challenge Flyer , Competition Flyer ,” and any other appropriate modes of communication for your agency. Only post the Competition Flyer if your agency is participating in the state-wide weight loss competition.
- Print Participant Registration and make it available to all employees.
- Make it clear that this Challenge is open to all state employees, contractors, and temporary employees, regardless of whether or not they receive their health insurance through the GIC.
- Ask employees to return their Registration Form to you one week prior to the Challenge start date.
- Add individuals to the Agency Weight Loss Tracker spreadsheet as they register. You will also use this spreadsheet to track their participation and weight loss (if your agency is participating in the state-wide weight loss competition). Employees are also asked to identify on the registration form whether or not they receive their health insurance through the GIC. If they answer “yes,” and are an employee of the executive or legislative branches or constitutional offices, then they are eligible to take their Health Assessment. Make note of this on the Tracker.
- If an employee receives their GIC health benefits through their spouse, they are also eligible to take their HA. However, they must notify the GIC in order to be enrolled. Have them send an email with their name, agency and home address to WellMASS. Tell them to allow up to four weeks for enrollment to take effect.
- One week before the Challenge starts, distribute Participant Guide and Tracker , Weight Loss Calculator , Free Weight Loss Resources , and GIC Weight Loss Resources to anyone who registered.
- Encourage eligible employees (employees of the Executive and Legislative branches and Constitutional Offices who get their health insurance through the GIC) to take their online Health Assessment – they may receive extra help in their weight loss journey by qualifying for free health coaching. If your agency/work site is participating in the state-wide weight loss competition, if 100% of eligible participants take their HA, your agency will receive an extra 3 percentage points toward its weight loss total. In addition, any employee who completes both the HA and the Challenge will be entered into a raffle for a year-long membership to Planet Fitness.
During 1st week of the Challenge
- Send Calorie Need Calculator and to all participants.
During 2nd week of the Challenge
During 3rd week of the Challenge
- Send Hunger Scale to all participants.
During 4th week of the Challenge
- Send Beverage Swaps to all participants.
During 5th week of the Challenge
- Send Exercise 101 to all participants.
During 6th week of the Challenge
- Send Fitting Exercise Into Your Day to all participants.
After completion of the Challenge
- Collect Tracking Forms from all participants who completed the Challenge.
- If your agency is participating in the state-wide weight loss competition, collect the Health Assessment confirmation pages from all eligible employees. If an employee took the HA but was unable to print out their confirmation page, they can take a screen shot of their WellMASS homepage, which will show that they completed the Assessment.
- In the Agency Tracker, enter whether participants submitted their tracker, whether or not they took their HA, and their total weight loss and % body weight lost.
- Send the completed Agency Tracker to Ashley Mason; if your agency is participating in the state-wide weight loss competition, you will need to submit the tracker by April 4 in order for your agency to be eligible to win the healthy lunch. You do not need to submit each individual participant’s tracker or HA confirmation page.
If you are unable to actively keep track of participants and send them materials throughout the Challenge
- Make all Challenge materials available to all employees. Either email them or print them out.
- Employees will have all of the tools they need to follow the Challenge on their own; you will not need to keep track of their participation or send out email reminders.
- Please note: If employees would like to be entered into the raffle to win the Planet Fitness membership, their participation will need to be tracked and submitted on an agency level. We are not able to accept individual trackers.
Questions? Contact Ashley Mason.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.