By Melissa Lafrance on June 4, 2019
Looking to boost your endorphins, add more movement to your day or connect with your colleagues in a fun and active way? Participate in the 2019 Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge from June 17 – July 12.
Open to all UBC staff and faculty in the Okanagan and Vancouver, the Stair Challenge spans four weeks and is a free, easy, accessible way to get active or keep fit – no matter your motivation or ability. You can participate as an individual or make it social and register as a team. There will be weekly random prize draws, photo challenges, social meet-ups, and an overall prize for both the top team and top individual.
Register by June 12 at 4:00 p.m. For more information or accessible participation options, visit our Stair Challenge page.
How it works:
- Register as a team or as an individual and receive your registration package.
- Pick your peak based on your personal fitness goals. Choose from Diamond Head (232 metres) to Mount Everest (8,848 metres).
- Log your inclines, including the flights of stairs you climb indoor or outdoor and the elevation you gain during hikes, step classes and stair climbers. A Daily Step Tracker and Team Tracking Sheet are provided.
- Participate in the various activities for a chance to win prizes.
- Submit your grand totals at the end of the four weeks to see if you’ve captured the top individual or team prize!
If you’re unable to climb stairs, you can still participate and track points by converting your walking steps or wheelchair travel distance instead. Visit the website for full details.
Get Inspired by our 2018 Participants!
We had a terrific group of participants last year who decided to boost their wellbeing when they stepped up to the Stair Challenge. Here’s a summary of the benefits they gained:
- Top two reasons for participating: increased social connections and physical fitness
- Over 80% reported that the challenge contributed to their overall wellbeing as well as their physical fitness
- 83% of participants felt confident in their ability to embed active breaks into their day with some reporting a 42% increase in their stair climbing/physical activity after the challenge
Visit the Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge page for a photo gallery of last year’s participants and to learn more about this fun annual event for UBC faculty and staff.
Photo Credit: Martin Dee, UBC Brand & Marketing
By Melissa Lafrance on August 7, 2018
This month, we share the results of our popular Stair Challenge, an annual health and wellbeing initiative that encourages UBC staff and faculty to use stair climbing to boost their cardiovascular health and build strength.
The 2018 Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge achieved a high water mark this year with a record turnout of participants. For four weeks (May 28 to June 22), over 490 staff, faculty and postdoctoral fellows took steps to climb their way to better health. The annual initiative is organized by UBC Human Resources’ Health Promotions team and offers a fun, easy, inclusive and accessible way for UBC employees to take an active role in enhancing their overall health and wellbeing. As individuals or in teams, participants can take the stairs, gain elevation by hiking, or stay active on stair climbers. For non-stair climbers, there is the option of walking or tracking wheelchair distances. Weekly and top performing prizes are awarded during and at the end of the challenge.
This year’s Stair Challenge had UBC employees stepping up from across the university, from Point Grey, the Okanagan and Robson Square to the hospital sites at VGH/DHCC, St. Paul’s, BC Women’s and Children’s. Collectively, they climbed 547,748 metres – the equivalent of scaling Mt. Everest 65 times!
The effort, enthusiasm and level of engagement was high throughout the challenge. Participants not only achieved astounding altitudes, but they also reported being more active at work and outside of work through social connections. In a post-challenge survey, the majority of participants reported that their top motivations were to improve their physical fitness and increase the incentive to take active breaks during their work day. 96% of participants agreed that the challenge contributed to their overall wellbeing.
“It’s one of many fantastic motivators to be more active,” said one challenge participant in their survey response. “It inspired me to finally try going up Grouse Mountain…it was something to keep in mind when I stood waiting for an elevator…I really value this incentive to keep moving.”
Participants found creative ways to motivate themselves and others, including organizing active breaks, sending daily email encouragement and posting funny posters to liven up stairwells. For UBC Vancouver’s Brock Warriors, one of this year’s top performing teams (averaging 1,172 flights per person), they stayed motivated by participating as a group and accomplishing shorter bursts of activities. In particular, team members Ritu Dabla, Laurie Dawson and Janice McGill enjoyed the social aspect of the challenge and felt it enhanced their friendships:
“The most interesting part was how [we] felt engaged and connected to the larger UBC community…It led to better physical fitness, social connections and enhanced [our] mental health and wellbeing.”
UBC Okanagan’s Heather Bradshaw (Centre for Teaching & Learning) was the top performing individual this year, achieving a total of 2,966 flights. She challenged herself by setting her eyes on the highest virtual peak – Mt. Everest. Heather did not have teammates to stay accountable to, but that did not stop her:
“I was motivated by trying different methods of reaching daily and weekly goals. I climbed the stairs to the 9th floor of my condo building five times as a morning routine and took breaks during my work day by going up and down the building stairs.”
The Next Challenge
For the UBC HR Health Promotions team of Miranda Massie and Melissa Lafrance, they are already looking ahead to the future:
“We appreciate all the valuable comments, feedback and suggestions we’ve received,” said Lafrance. “They will help us make the annual Stair Challenge even better next year.”
Massie added, “Thanks to our generous corporate discount partners for donating prizes, but most of all, thank you to each and every participant. You embody the spirit of what the Stair Challenge is all about – inspiring and supporting your personal, physical and social health and wellbeing. Melissa and I hope to see you all back next year, and we hope you’ll encourage new colleagues to join the fun!”
For More Information
Visit the Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge page for photos submitted by 2018 participants. For upcoming health and wellbeing events and initiatives, visit our Events & Workshops page and stay tuned through Healthy UBC.
Photo Credit: UBC Communications & Marketing
Posted in Information Update, Physical Health, Thriving Campus | Tagged 2018, challenge, Peak performance, physical activity, Pick your Peak, Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge, stair challenge, stair climbing, UBC, winners | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on May 3, 2018
Staff and faculty at UBC’s Vancouver campus are invited to join the 4th annual Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge. This four-week challenge is a fun and inclusive way to encourage our community to keep fit by taking the stairs.
Stair climbing is a great way to boost cardiovascular health, build muscle and strengthen the core. The best part? It’s free!
The challenge will include weekly participant prizes, photo challenges, and an overall prize for both the top team and top individual.
Everyone, of all ability levels, is invited to participate. Visit the website for accessible participation options.
How it works
- Register as a team or as an individual (team rankings are scored based on an average of all team members’ achievements, so a larger team won’t have an advantage over an individual)
- Select the peak you’re aiming for – from Diamond Head (232 metres) to Mount Everest (8,848 metres)
- Log your flights of stairs climbed on the Daily Step Tracker for a chance to win participation prizes
- Submit your grand totals at the end of four weeks
Your steps to success
Last year’s participants stepped up to better health!
Over 60% of last year’s participants reported that the challenge had a positive impact on their overall wellbeing as well as their physical health, while 66% reported that their relationships with colleagues improved. 69% of participants took the stairs once a day or less before the challenge, with some reporting a 30% increase in their stair climbing/physical activity after the challenge.
By Miranda Massie on July 1, 2017
Your trusty Health and Wellbeing team has been very busy this spring. Check out the photos and stories below for an insider’s view of what we’ve been up to.
Travelling Health Fair (February)
In partnership with the UBC Pharmacists Clinic and Pharmacy students, we provided over 200 diabetes screenings to UBC staff and faculty at the Point Grey campus and VGH. As a result of the assessments, 13% of participants discovered that they were pre-diabetic or at risk for pre-diabetes. The screenings also prompted 44% of participants to seek follow-up care with another health professional.
Awards Announcement: At the recent Canadian Pharmacists Conference 2017 in Quebec City, the collaborative work between UBC HR and the UBC Pharmacists Clinic was highlighted when the clinic team was awarded the prize of Best Pharmacy Practiced Research poster. The poster, titled “Perceptions of pharmacy students involved in preventative health and wellness events at the University of British Columbia,” was created in support of the Travelling Health Fair. The award is not only a tribute to the successful partnership and continuing work of UBC HR and the UBC Pharmacists Clinic, but also represents an opportunity to explore further collaborations in support health and wellbeing at UBC. View the other research poster here.
Staff and Faculty Sports Day (May 5)
Over 500 UBC staff and faculty took part in this 7th annual end-of-term celebration. This year, we were part of the staff and volunteer teams; nothing beats cheering on your colleagues at the finish line! Check out this year’s results and awards as well as the photo gallery.
Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge (May 15 – June 9)
More than 450 staff and faculty tracked their Stair Challenge points in this year’s Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge. The total stairs climbed by all participants was equal to 728,030 metres! We collectively climbed Mount Everest 82 times! This year, we managed to climb “Mount Everest” 18 more times compared to our 2016 numbers. A huge thank you to all our corporate health and fitness discount partners for donating prizes, and a big congratulations to all participants. Check out the inspiring photos from our 2017 Challenge.
CACUSS Presentation and Panel (June 12-16)
With other colleagues from UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan, we presented on UBC Thrive at the annual CACUSS conference for Canadian student services professionals in Ottawa. We were also invited to represent UBC HR on a panel about Mental Health Curricula for the CACUSS Best Practice Network in Canadian Higher Education. A highlight of our visit: we bumped into the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he kicked off Pride Month at Parliament!
Canadian Colleges and Universities Community of Practice (June 15-16)
While in Ottawa, members of our team met with colleagues working in workplace health and wellbeing from across the country. This was the 5th annual face-to-face gathering, and this time, we presented on UBC’s workplace health promotion activities and programs.
UBC Staff Pension Fair (June 21)
With our UBC HR colleagues, we attended the annual Staff Pension Fair held at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre. The fair was a great opportunity to learn more about the pension plan with hosted information tables highlighting key services and resources.
Our table included information about the Employee and Family Assistance Program, UBC’s Benefits Plan, and Health and Wellbeing offerings. We interacted with over 300 people and had a great time answering questions, providing information and meeting colleagues from across the campus.
We have been busy delivering health and wellbeing-related training, educational sessions, and workshops across campus. Here are some of the topics we’ve covered over the past few months:
- Mental health first aid
- Conflict resolution
- Elder care
- Parenting tips on sexual health conversations
- Financial wellbeing
- Debunking the diet
- Understanding your travel benefits
Photos: Miranda Massie | Note: Photos cannot be used without the express permission of the attributed photographer. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted in Events, Information Update | Tagged CACUSS, health and wellbeing, networking, out and about, outreach, presentations, spring 2017, staff and faculty sports day, stair challenge, Travelling Health Fair, UBC | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on May 4, 2017
Staff and Faculty at UBC Vancouver are invited to join the 3rd annual Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge. This four-week challenge is a fun and inclusive way to encourage our community to take the stairs.
Stair climbing is a great way to boost cardiovascular health, build muscle and strengthen the core. And the best part is – it’s free!
The challenge will include weekly participant prizes, weekly photo challenges and an overall prize for both the top team and top individual. The top team prize is awarded based on the highest average point total per participant.
All abilities are welcome to participate. Visit our website for accessible participation options.
How it works:
- Register as a team or as an individual
- Select the peak that you want to strive for – whether it’s climbing the equivalent of Grouse Mountain or Mount Everest
- Log your daily flights of stairs
- Submit your totals at the end of four weeks
- Participate for a chance to win great prizes!
Take steps for success
Here’s the information you need to get started:
Check out a list of the top stairs to climb across the city, as voted by last year’s participants.
Last year’s participants step up to health!
Over 50% of last year’s participants noticed positive impacts on their overall wellbeing.
Before the challenge, 48% of participants took the stairs once a day or less. After the challenge, 91% said they were committed to continuing to use stairs once a day or more.
By Melissa Lafrance on May 4, 2017
Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge – May 15 – June 9 (Location: Vancouver)
The Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge is a fun and inclusive way to encourage staff and faculty to take the stairs. Stair climbing is a great way to boost cardiovascular health, build muscle and strengthen the core. All abilities are welcome to participate. Find out more and register a team or individual now.
Parenting Tips: How to Talk to Your Kids about Sexual Health – May 17, 12:00–1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
The prospect of talking to your children about sex and sexual health can be a difficult one – but these conversations do not need to be feared or avoided. Why not arm yourself with knowledge, age-appropriate information and fantastic resources? Learn how to speak to your children about comprehensive body science and sexual health information. You will also take away a helpful formula for answering questions and discover some fantastic resources for both parents and children of any age. Help provide your children with the tools to keep themselves safe and to make healthy and informed decisions. Find out more and register now.
The Art of Managing Conflict (Part 1) – May 24, 12:00–1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
Conflict is a common part of life and is a natural result of people having different points of view, values and beliefs. When left unaddressed, workplace conflict can lead to challenges, but when well managed, conflict can enhance your relationships, deepen your understanding of yourself and others, and stimulate change and growth. This workshop will provide participants with a framework for assessing the types of conflict common in the workplace and propose strategies for their resolution. Find out more and register now.
Eldercare 101 – May 30, 12:00–1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
Join Home-to-Home, a seniors advisory and assistance business, in this one-hour session on eldercare planning and management. Learn how to develop eldercare plans related to housing, avoid crisis situations, access resources, budget, understand legal considerations, and gain a greater awareness of eldercare options and resources. Find out more and register now.
Conflict Resolution in the Workplace (Part 2) – May 31, 12:00–1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
In the workplace, unresolved conflict can negatively impact the individuals involved, other team members and the organization as a whole by affecting productivity and morale. The approach you take to managing conflict determines whether stress or opportunities for growth will be created. This workshop examines various types of conflict and will provide you with a model for successfully resolving conflict at work. Find out more and register now.
Ergo Your Office Tutorial – May 31, 12:00–1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
Optimize your computer work environment to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury. This one-hour tutorial combines a presentation and a practical session, giving you hands-on experience in adjusting typical office equipment. By the end of the tutorial you will know how to set up your chair, keyboard/mouse and monitor to promote neutral working postures. Find out more and register now.
Mental Health First Aid Training – May 30, June 1, 6 & 8, 1:00–4:15 p.m. (Location: Robson Square)
Mental Health First Aid, a two-day in-person workshop, aims to improve mental health literacy by providing participants with the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, be able to provide initial support to a person who may be developing a mental health problem or is experiencing a crisis, and be prepared to guide a person towards professional help. Find out more and register now.
Coming up in June…
Understanding Your Travel Benefits – June 20, 12:00–1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey & DHCC)
Planning a vacation in Canada or abroad? This information session will be useful for anyone wanting to know more about UBC’s travel benefits and how to be prepared in a medical emergency. Join UBC Benefits Specialist Stephanie Mah for a one-hour session to deepen your understanding of your travel benefits and ensure that your well-earned vacation is as stress-free as possible. Find out more and register now.
Posted in Events, Healthy UBC Initiatives, Mental Health, Physical Health | Tagged conflict, courses, Eldercare, Ergonomics, health, healthy ubc events, mental health, parenting tips, sex ed., stair challenge, Suicide prevention, training, wellbeing, workshops | 2 Responses
By Colin Hearne on July 6, 2015
The 2015 Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge – Thank you!
A big thank you from all of us at Healthy UBC for your support for our 2015 Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge – We were blown away by the participation and the final numbers – and truly had fun making it happen!
Check out some of final numbers below, and check out some fantastic participant pics here.
We had a total of 474 challenge participants and walked a total of 1,298Km of stairs, or an average of 2.8km each!! That’s almost the distance from Vancouver, BC to Lloydminster, Alberta……..uphill!
• Overall Team prize in Vancouver goes to the Fabulous 5 from Enrollment Services for the highest per participant average overall. Each team member averaged a total of 4,871 flights of stairs – or an estimated 22km of stairs each!! Wow!!
• Runner Up Team prize in Vancouver goes to the Wreck Beach Clothing Required team from HR with an average of 2,892 flights (An estimated 13km each)
• Overall Team prize in Okanagan goes to the Stair Gazers (University Relations) for the highest per participant average overall. Each team member averaged a total of 749 flights of stairs (or 3.4km each)
• Overall Individual participant Vancouver prize goes to Annabelle Hung for an overall total of 2,734 flights – that’s an amazing 12.3km!
• Overall Individual participant Okanagan prize goes to Stephanie French for an overall total of 2,738 flights – also an amazing 12.3km!
A special memntions goes to all of UBC’s on- and off-campus Corporate Health, Fitness & Family Discount partners who donated all of the prizing over the duration of the challenge. In particular: the BirdCoop Fitness Centre, BodyWorks Fitness Centre, Golds Gym, Sun Life, Shepell, Trevor Linden Fitness; and Steve Nash Fitness Clubs. Along with our collaboration with the vast expertise on campus, their support ensured that this challenge was a great success!
Want to keep in touch with all of our Healthy UBC programming, trainings and workshops? See below:
• Become a UBC Health Contact
Weekly Health Contact emails work in partnership with the monthly Healthy UBC Newsletter. We want all interested UBC staff and faculty to have the most exciting and up-to-date information regarding health happenings and opportunities – so get signed up and be a health hero! Click here for more information.
• Subscribe to the Healthy UBC Newsletter
A recent UBC Open Minds survey showed that the Healthy UBC Newsletter had the second highest readership for a self-subscribed UBC Publication. We are very proud! Now, we want to get to No.1!!!– Click here to subscribe.
By Miranda Massie on June 3, 2015
The Healthy UBC Team has had a fantastically busy few months! Check out some of our out-and-about photos below – you may even spot yourself!
Thrive Committee 2015
Breaking news! UBC has been invited to celebrate Thrive on both the national and international stage this month. Thrive committee members will be presenting at the 2015 Annual CAUBO conference in Saint John and at the 2015 International Conference of Health Promoting Universities in Kelowna. Thrive will be presented as an innovative and collaborative community based model of positive mental health promotion.
Conference organizers wanted a committee group photo – so here’s what they got.
Swings on Main Mall
Have you spotted any of the new additions to Main Mall on UBC’s Vancouver campus that are helping to make us all a bit more relaxed? The installation of three bentwood swings, each one a unique design, are one of the many ways that Campus and Community Planning (C+CP) is helping to create a fun and vibrant public space for the campus community to enjoy. Check out some ‘swing selfies’ that you sent us!
Staff and Faculty Sports Day – May 2015
A big thank you to all who were able to participate in this year’s Staff and Faculty Sports Day! It was a massively enjoyable day with over 400 participant sand 50 departments getting involved! We can’t wait until next year! Check out our photos here.
Woman2Warrior – May 2015
A big shout out to three ‘warriors’ working alongside us at Healthy UBC – Benefits Associate Florence Lum, Ergonomics Advisor Abigail Overduin; and Retirement & Survivor Benefits Associate Janet Poupart raised over $1,200 for the BC Easter Seals Camps by participating in Woman2Warror on May 24. W2W is a 5km obstacle course of trails, track, and grass aimed to push your strength, agility, balance, and sense of adventure to the limit! Check out their photos here.
Bike to Work Week – May, 2015
A big shout out to all the peddlers who participated in the Spring 2015 Bike to Work Week .A special shout out to Healthy UBC’s Janet Poupart who biked to work for the very first time – when asked about the famously difficult ‘hill on 8th’ she replied “It was a breeze!” Check out her photo with peloton partner Miranda Massie here.
Peak your Peak Stair Challenge – May/June2015
The Pick Your Peak Star Challenge 2015 kicked off on May 25 with a bang! If you are one of the 500 who have signed up, congratulations: you are now on your way to a healthier you!! With lots of prizes up for grabs we asked all participants for their stair selfies during week 1. All entries won free passes to Hot Box Yoga in Wesbrook Village for themselves or their team. Check out some of our favourites here.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Events, Healthy UBC Initiatives, Spot Light, Thriving Campus | Tagged btww, healthy ubc, out and about, outreach, photos, selfies, sports day, stair challenge, thrive, UBC | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on May 5, 2015
UBC’s Health, Wellbeing and Benefits team has a great line up of FREE activities and events coming up in May and over the summer. Sign up for topics including Naturopathic Cleanse, Manage Your Money, Ergo Your Office, and more!
National Mental Health Week: May 4-10
This week is designed as a celebration of mentally healthy lifestyles and positive attitudes, as well as a source of information and support.
- Improve your mental health with Shepell (UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance program)
- Learn more about UBC Thrive
Join the Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge! Register by May 20
Climb your way to better health! This is a fun and inclusive way to encourage staff and faculty to use the stairs. Stair climbing is a great way to boost cardiovascular health, build muscle and strengthen the core. Grab some teammates and challenge yourself to a 4 week climb to the peak of your choice. Runs May 25-June 19, 2015.
Yoga at Hillel: May 27-August 5
Looking for yoga this summer? Look no further. UBC’s Hillel house will be hosting drop in or full term pass classes with mats and block provided. Early bird deadline is May 8!
Safe and Sustainable Transportation Month, May, 2015
UBC is committed to creating a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly campus community. Throughout May, we’re celebrating safe, active and sustainable transportation with activities and events aimed at promoting walking and cycling on campus—from a Jane’s Walk, to Bike to Work Week, to community bike clinics and more. Visit http://www.utown.ubc.ca/sstm.
UBC has a brand new self-directed office ergonomics guide and assessment tool available to all staff and faculty. For a full description, read more here.
Posted in Community Health News, Ergonomics, Events, Mental Health, Miranda Massie, Physical Health | Tagged community, Ergonomics, health, Mental Health Week, news, stair challenge, Yoga | Leave a response