Governor's Walk for wellness kicks off NE150 challenge

Published: Jan. 23, 2017 at 2:01 PM CST
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The NE150Challenge, a year-long web-based wellness program, officially opened Monday at the Nebraska State Capitol with Governor Pete Ricketts leading the annual Governor’s Walk for wellness.

Prior to walking the halls, the Governor held a brief news conference to encourage Nebraskans to exercise regularly, eat healthy and use available programs and events to stay on track. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services CEO Courtney Phillips also shared remarks on the disease-prevention benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Nebraska Sports Council Executive Director Dave Mlnarik was also on hand and shared details of the NE150 Challenge, which is one of 13 official initiatives of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission.

The NE150 Challenge is a year-long web-based wellness program that allows Nebraskans to track physical activity miles and minutes. As they meet certain benchmarks, they earn virtual badges, many of which are themed after Nebraska’s 150th year of statehood. The program also helps users find trails and parks where they can walk, run, bike or paddle.

More than 1,450 Nebraskans, including Governor Ricketts and First Lady Susanne Shore, are already registered and recording miles. Ricketts has accumulated 135.9 miles, mostly biking, since he enrolled in the Challenge. The first family miles are shown on the home page of the website at

The NE150 Challenge is free for individuals and groups, but a corporate membership program has been established to offer additional workplace wellness incentives and help fund the Challenge. For $500, member companies receive a kit with shirts, medals and posters to promote the Challenge and reward high achievers. They also become eligible for corporate awards based on employee numbers.