By Julie Bedsole

When you want your employees to amp up their physical fitness game, a healthy incentive is sometimes needed as a push.

In the case of Navakai and Bryan Construction’s Corporate Wellness Challenge, bragging rights were the only incentives needed for the epic five-month throwdown.

The first battle to kick off the rivalry was a steps challenge in April.

Having completed the first challenge, the mighty Navakai team took home the gold medal with a total of 447,221 steps versus Bryan’s 424,913 steps. Congratulations to Navakai!

While the challenge will run for five-months, employees only compete in activities during April, June and August. In the off months of May and July, CEOs Scott Bryan and Davin Neubacher plan to hold unified mixers where their teams of employees can size each other up while enjoying some friendly camaraderie.

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The companies also established a group Facebook page that allows employees to share successes and sling some good-natured mud.

Bryan Construction has about 32 employees in the game compared to Navakai’s 16.

To balance the numbers, weekly point totals are calculated based on the average number of employees participating from each company.

Navakai has always prided itself on encouraging wellness, but the competition with Bryan Construction has taken those efforts to a new level.

On any given day one can find a handful of bikes parked on the patio, staff stepping away on a mini-elliptical between calls and breathless team members who have hiked five flights of stairs to reach the company’s office on the top floor of the Hibbard building downtown.

However, Bryan Construction has a different source of strength. With workers on the move at job sites, along with employees who are distance runners, Incline hikers and general fitness enthusiasts, Bryan Construction brought a strong game too.

Every physical activity was counted as steps for the two teams by using a conversion chart.

For example, one is not moving around a lot during yoga, but rather it requires controlled strength. Swimmers aren’t always able to wear fitness trackers in the water, and even if they did, it might now calculate the same as a walker. So, for activities like swimming and yoga, employees used “steps converters” to calculate those activities as steps.

Ultimately, all three months will be added together and the grand winner will be announced at the Colorado Springs Business Journal’s Lifestyle: 6035 Luncheon in September.

In addition to bragging rights, the losing company will present the winning company with a check for $1,000 made out to the winner’s local charity of choice.

Regardless of who wins, the competition between Navakai and Bryan Construction has fostered an unexpected element of team cohesion, and reignited the desire to stay engaged in our overall wellness.

Stay tuned to see which company pulls ahead in June. Steps are one thing, but a look at nutrition may tell a different story on which company truly values health and wellness the most.

Julie Bedsole is the marketing coordinator for Colorado general contractor Bryan Construction, Inc. For information visit bryanconstruction.com.