If you happen to be at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, you may notice employees in athletic shoes walking both inside and outside of the building. They’re part of the more than 5,500 HISD employees from across the district who are hoping to be bathing suit-ready in a few months signed up for the HISD HealthyWage Challenge that began in February and continues through the end of May.
All that is required to succeed is to maintain a slow-but-steady weight loss of four pounds a month for four months, and each participant will be rewarded $160, as well as be entered in a drawing in which each team member might win an iPad. There are other incentives as well, including one that doesn’t require losing weight — everyone who weighed in and out for the first month of the contest is automatically entered into a drawing, and five lucky winners will win a FitBit in April.
At the end of the first month, 3,515 employees weighed in, and 2,023 had lost at least four pounds and will receive $40 in their April 9 paycheck — for a total of $80,920. The total weight loss in February was an amazing 14,400 pounds, which is equal to one elephant, one school bus, or two pickup trucks.