Miles for Wellness

Miles for Wellness is a virtual, team-based walking initiative by and for the state employees of North Carolina. The purpose of Miles for Wellness is to encourage and support employees to increase their level of physical activity, with the goal of 10,000 steps, or the equivalent of 5 miles, achieved most days of the week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help:

  • Control your weight
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Reduce your risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mental health and mood
  • Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you're an older adult
  • Increase your chances of living longer
  • If you're not sure about becoming active or boosting your level of physical activity because you're afraid of getting hurt, the good news is that moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for most people.

Read more about ways you can stay healthy

Read the Surgeon General's Call to Action

Physical Activity Guidelines

Miles for Wellness is sponsored by the Total Rewards Division of the Office of State Human Resources. Challenges take place twice a year. Teams are comprised of up to ten people in four categories: tortoise, hare, super hare, and bionic hare. Each challenge has a different theme with weekly step count totals that are added up and plotted on a virtual map. Scroll down for more information about the current challenge.

The Trail of Thrills, Miles for Wellness Challenge 16, should prove to be exciting for state employee participants. This 8-week “Move More” competition provides a virtual trail for participants to travel without even having to venture away from their home or office. The theme of this fall challenge is being thrilled toward physical activity! On the virtual trail, employees will be able to virtually visit some amazing and thrilling locations around the United States. Teams of no more than 10 employees, recording step totals every two weeks, will see their team's progress on the virtual trail that is mapped below. Beginning virtually with a high adventure challenge course in the western part of North Carolina, participants will move virtually up the East Coast, then westward and points south, and back to North Carolina, virtually experiencing along the way some of the most thrilling amusement parks. Parks may have the oldest thrill ride in the country, or be located inside a shopping mall, or have the first ever ride of its kind in the world, or be developed specifically for special needs children. In addition, in our own back yard of North Carolina, this virtual Trail of Thrills begins and ends at events that allow participants to give back to the event community, if so desired, all while being physically active. So, watch the trail maps below to see how teams progress in each division throughout the eight-week challenge! Happy trails!

Characteristics of a Team

  1. Any interested state employee can participate. For the purpose of this program only, if an employee is contributing to the State Retirement System, he/she is considered a state employee and eligible for this benefit offered through the Total Rewards Division of the NC Office of State Human Resources.
  2. Each team must have a captain.
  3. Teams are made of up to 10 state employees. Teams with 10 members are more likely to participate competitively then teams with less members.
  4. Team members from various government employers can be on the same team.
  5. Each team must have a team name specific to that team. Duplications of team names are not allowed.
  6. Each team will be classified throughout the competition in one of these four divisions; Tortoise, Hare, Super Hare, and/or Bionic Hare.
  7. Before starting the competition, team members are to sign the Liability Waiver Form and turning it into their team captain to keep throughout the challenge. This waiver must be signed anew for each challenge.
  8. Team members can accumulate steps through the use of a pedometer for walking, aerobics, and other activities of daily living, and exercise conversions for those activities that would not register on a pedometer; i.e., swimming, cycling, weight lifting, etc.
  9. Team members report their steps weekly to their team captain for recording purposes.

Challenge 16 Trail Maps

Chart Your Team's Progress Along the Trail of Thrills






Super Hare


Bionic Hare

Past Challenges

Miles for Wellness Challenge 15: St. Paddy's Day Trail Final Stats

We have our winners! The Miles for Wellness Challenge 15 St. Paddy's Day Trail has concluded, and participates lived up to the virtual challenge by taking real steps to increase movement and enchance their health. In its 8th year, each Miles for Wellness themed challenge provides participants with a virtual trail to walk with points of interest along the way. The theme for this past challenge, “St. Paddy’s Day Trail”, looked at locations and events connected to Irish immigrants and their homeland of Ireland. Challenge 15 began March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, and the virtual trail is led participants on an exploration of various Irish-related towns throughout the United States, with names such as Dublin and Shamrock.

This trail began on the coast of North Carolina at Emerald Isle, with teams stepping to Raleigh to take advantage of other St. Patrick’s Day-related events, before heading northward. Team progress was shown on the virtual trail, throughout the competition. Every two weeks, team locations were updated on the maps on this site. Participants took advantage of all this fun and healthy movement without having to leave home or work to travel anywhere!

Employees walked a total of 2,629,844,643 steps or 1,314,924 miles in 8 weeks. A total of 501 teams, of up to ten people, for approximately 5,463 state employees, completed the challenge with benefits ranging from weight loss, decreased blood pressure, or an increase in overall energy and office team building. State employees are looking forward to Challenge 16 which should open for registration around the end of August.


Challenge 15 Winners

Bionic Hare Division

Super Hare Division

Hare Division

Tortoise Division