Wellbeing advice at your fingertips

Iowa State employees who want to live their best lives have access to a new online tool to help accomplish their goals.

On Sept. 6, ISU WellBeing launched Adventure2, a wellbeing portal available to all ISU benefits-eligible employees. The name is a nod to the university's admissions theme, "Choose Your Adventure," with the idea that faculty and staff may live their adventure while teaching, researching, advising, cooking, cleaning or doing whatever they are hired to do.  

"The idea behind the name and the entire program is about living your best life, having that adventure at ISU," said Stephanie Downs, ISU WellBeing coordinator.

University human resources (UHR) partnered with Limeade, a Seattle-based corporate wellness company, to develop the portal. Limeade offers multiple libraries of wellness information that Adventure2 taps into. The company also helped UHR develop custom topics and programs for Iowa State, and manages the site's technology, support and security.

Access and features

Adventure2 is accessible from computers, smartphones and tablets. To get involved, go to the ISU WellBeing website and click on the "Adventure2" tab. Log in with your ISU Net-ID and password.

Employees may access dozens of links related to ISU WellBeing's core elements – mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, financial and community. Downs encourages employees to, at a minimum, read and browse these topics. But employees who want to take their wellbeing a step further may track progress toward their goals using a three-tier points system. Here's how it works:

For almost every activity completed, you earn points (available points are listed on each activity). Activities run the gamut, from attending a professional development seminar to taking part in a campus walk to practicing relaxation breathing. Employees also earn points for having annual physicals or completing enrollment forms during the annual benefits election period. Employees may accumulate enough points to achieve one of three recognition levels. They are:

  • Dare Greatly (1,000 points)
  • Live Well (2,500 points)
  • Soar Confidently (5,000 points)

With each level earned, employees receive recognition and awards, including a special banner for their email signatures designating which level they've achieved. Points are accumulated by calendar year and don't carry over from year to year. New challenges are launched and point levels are reset at the end of each programming year. 

Employees may earn points individually or through team challenges. In all cases, participation may be kept anonymous through a public-private toggle button on each activity page.

"This is the part of the system that incorporates social media because employees can post messages, such as 'good job' or 'let's do this,' related to the challenge if they want," Downs said.

Assess yourself

One way to ramp up points in Adventure2 is to take the wellbeing assessment, though it's not required to participate in the points program. The assessment examines six categories:

  • Reaching your potential
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Physical wellbeing
  • Capacity for change
  • Work
  • Health risks

The assessment takes about 20 minutes to complete, and employees can stop and resume as often as necessary. Once complete, employees immediately will learn the top three areas they can work on and the top three things they are doing well. A list of links related to the categories is included.

"This system is about sharing positive feedback with employees," Downs said. "It helps motivate people to continue working toward their goals. It's a fun support resource."

Learn more

Downs encourages employees to bring their laptops, tablets or smartphones to the Sept. 12 Professional and Scientific Council seminar (2-3 p.m., Memorial Union Pioneer Room), where she will demonstrate how Adventure2 works. Employees will be encouraged to log in and follow along.

Employees already on the portal site may get help by clicking on the gray feedback button located on the upper left side of any page. Limeade provides user support. If employees have questions specific to Iowa State, they may contact Downs directly.

Now that Adventure2 is up and running, Downs hopes employees explore the tool to reach their full potential.

"This is meant to be a support program that motivates people," she said. "It's here for you because the Iowa State community cares about you and your wellbeing."