Butte County Dares Its Employees To Walk For Health In April

Mar 25, 2015


Randy Ross, an eligibility specialist for Butte County, gets his resting heartrate and blood pressure checked by Nancy Miller, a Butte County public health nurse. The health measurements taken Tuesday will be used as baseline numbers to track the personal progress of employees during a monthlong walking challenge taking place among Butte County employees in April.
Credit Sarah Bohannon / NSPR

The Tahoe Conference Room in Oroville was swarming Tuesday as Butte County employees stood in lines to get on scales and to have their blood pressure checked. The reason? 

The measurements were all about gathering personal health baseline numbers for a countywide walking challenge that starts in about two weeks.  

The Butte County Wellness Challenge is daring county employees to walk as much as they can in April, and so far more than 2,500 have answered the call. The challenge scores will be tallied in teams made up by county divisions and departments. The team with the most steps will be named the winner.  

According to Butte County Public Health Department Communications Manager Lisa Almaguer, walking was chosen as the challenge’s physical activity not only because it’s cheap and easy, but also because it has many health benefits.  

“Walking will help maintain weight, it will lift your mood, it will prevent many different diseases in your body, it will strengthen your bones, it will give you more energy both at work and at home,” Almaguer said. “And by creating these teams it’s also creating a social network and a sense of camaraderie amongst employees, and in the end ultimately we have happier and healthier employees working for Butte County.”

Almaguer says the Butte County Wellness Challenge is open only to county employees, but she welcomes all businesses and other organizations to join in on the fun by starting a walking challenge of their own.   

The challenge kicks off April 6. It will run for four weeks – the first being National Public Health Week.