Employee Wellness & Engagement

The Challenge

Walk the distance (2200 miles) of the Appalachian Trail, either individually or with a group. Your employees and co-workers will enjoy the beauty and history of this trail through snapshots and trail information, helping to create real lifestyle change.

Walk the Distance will automatically read from Health App (iPhone) or Google Fit (Android) and progress walkers virtually along the Appalachian Trail. Walkers work hard to reach "checkpoints" along the route and to stay ahead of their coworkers! Employees can walk as individuals, in small teams of 4 or 5, or in larger groups of 10 or more. Breaking up into teams creates a more manageable timeline and encourages teamwork with a little friendly competition. Larger groups work well for competition between offices or locations. Whether part of a group or not, all team members will be able to view their progress as a team and as an individual walker.

"Walk the Distance was an extremely successful program for our organization. During a time when we were not able to be together in person, Walk the Distance allowed us to stay connected and motivated right from our phones and helped us donate $28,000 back to our local communities. John was extremely easy to work with and he communicated everything very well."

Jodie Gerulaitis
Vice President, Community Relations

Simple to set up... Simple to use

Step 1: Download the app
Step 2: Use the link to join the private group
Step 3: "Activate" the walk
Step 4: Walk!

Tips to make the challenge more fun and interactive

Walk the Distance Virtual Appalachian Trail Challenge is a great way to motivate your team to become happier, healthier, and more energized. Working from home can lead to extra sedentary time and less engagement. A little friendly competition and incentives will encourage your team to move and engage. Here are some tips on how to make your Virtual Appalachian Trail Challenge more fun and interactive:

Make it rewarding

A recent study by RAND Corporation found that incentives are associated with about 20% higher participation and that smaller incentives work as well as larger ones.

Make it personal

Recognize individual accomplishments and let team members know their efforts are being noticed. Send emails when they reach a specific checkpoint or personal step goal. WTD can provide templates for emails and completion certificates.

Make it attainable

The Appalachian Trail Challenge is approximately 4.4 million steps. That's a lot of steps! Breaking it down into monthly or quarterly mini-challenges can make the challenge feel more attainable and easier to manage.

Make it social

Create a Facebook Group for participants to share photos, motivation, and accomplishments. Start a Twitter war between teams. Encourage employees to post photos on Instagram. Reward engagement as part of your incentive program.

Make it charitable

Make charitable donations part of the incentive plan or make the challenge a fundraiser for your companies charity of choice.

Ideas for Incentives

Budget-friendly: public recognition; certificate of completion (for parts or entire trail); lunch with the boss or CEO; picture on a wall of fame.

Benefits-based: Health premium differential; 401(k) contributions; contributions toward Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account; paid time off.

Monetary/Prize-based: Amazon Gift Cards, Visa/AmEx Gift Cards, Prizes, like a backpack full of snacks; a Walk the Distance T-shirt; a FitBit or Apple Watch; Donations to the charity of employees' choice; PTO with an expense-paid trip to Maine for a photo at the Katahdin.

Team Incentives: Catered Breakfast; Chair Massages; Meal Delivery; Bowling, Axe Throwing, Escape Room, or other team-building experiences.