Author Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator at Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.
Twice a day, music fills the air of Rancho Mesa's office. The hum of keyboards, the clicking of calculators and the various phone conversations come to a halt. A song signals that it's time to take to the sidewalks of Santee, CA, a song in which is alternated from each of the staff's personal playlist.
This ritual is part of Rancho Mesa's Health and Wellness Program. The daily walks, also known as the "7th Inning Stretch," provide an opportunity for the staff to get away from their desks, get moving, and enjoy the outdoors.
“RMI’s 7th Inning Stretch success could not have occurred without the tremendous support of Dave Garcia and the staff. Can you name another company who rewards their employees for time away from their desks?" said Dede Pyle.
The rules are simple. When someone participates on the walk, they get a blue pebble. If they walk five times (or more) during the week, they get a red pebble. If they walk to lunch or go to the gym during lunch, they get another red pebble. At the end of each quarter, prizes are awarded based on the number of pebbles each person has earned.
The staff's progress is measured on a map of the United States. Each quarter, the pebbles are tallied and the distance walked is calculated and recorded on the map. The goal is to walk from San Diego to New York City.
Dede Pyle proposed the 7th Inning Stretch to Rancho Mesa in November 2014, as a means to stay healthy and focused during the agency’s 01/01 crunch, which is the busiest time of year in the insurance industry. The goal was to raise the energy level in a healthy, non-stressful way, have quality time away from the workstation and create camaraderie within the agency. In addition to the twice daily walks, Rancho Mesa provides healthy snacks on Tuesday, also known as “Healthy Snack Tuesday” which is an alternative to the vending machine snacks.