Steps to San Diego: How PAEA Staff Focused on Wellness to Get Ready for Forum 

The fall is undoubtedly a busy time for PAEA staff. Whether teams focus on making final preparations for our annual Education Forum and Fall Workshops or are working on projects to get them to the finish line of 2022, it can be easy to forget to take a break or make health and wellness a priority in the day-to-day. As an association committed to living our values and sustaining a healthy organizational culture both externally and internally, PAEA staff engaged in a 45-day movement challenge to help foster well-being and teamwork to achieve a common goal.  

Understanding that health and wellness mean different things to everyone, PAEA found a health and activity challenge platform called MoveSpring to create an environment where health and fitness is inclusive and approachable. All PAEA staff were invited to download the MoveSpring app on their phone to track their steps and movement from September 1 to October 14. PAEA set a goal to reach 2,630 miles together, which is the distance from the PAEA office in Washington, DC, to San Diego, CA, where the 2022 Education Forum and Fall Workshops were held in-person. Staff had the ability to convert their unique activity to steps throughout each day, whether it was walking, completing a strength exercise, yoga, going to the grocery store, or even mowing the lawn – the MoveSpring app came with an activity converter so we could ensure that all types of movement were captured. 

It was clear after the first week when we completed over 1,000 miles that our initial goal to San Diego would be met and surpassed. Quickly, as a team we decided we not only wanted to make it to San Diego, we wanted to see if we could complete a round trip back to Washington, DC, which totaled to 5,260 miles. This goal was achieved on the Forum’s last day.   

PAEA incorporated several gift card giveaways throughout the challenge timeline to keep engagement and momentum high. We also encouraged participation through multiple avenues, including chat within the app – staff used this as a tool to share their movement experiences. We saw photos of beautiful hikes and kids and pets who joined their families on their movement journeys together. We even saw a bit of friendly competition and banter on the chat to see who could reach the most steps individually. Congratulations to PAEA’s Admissions Coordinator, Kelly Powell, for walking the most miles – 324 total!  

Overall, the Steps to San Diego was a tremendous success. Not only did it help individuals get “fit for Forum,” it also helped us connect with colleagues in unique ways. PAEA has staff that works remotely across many states and time zones, and this was an excellent way to build stronger relationships with others you may not get to see or work with often.  

If you’re looking for ways to enhance well-being and collaboration at your program, MoveSpring has many different wellness challenges depending on the focus and goal to fit your needs. PAEA is excited to continue leveraging the platform for potential staff challenges in the future.  

For any questions about ways to increase wellness amongst faculty and staff using MoveSpring, feel free to reach out to PAEA at, and we will get you connected.