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The winners of the 2019 Worksite Moai Competition were announced during a Tuesday celebration at MC’s on Main by Blue Zones Project — Healthy Klamath, according to a news release.

This is the second time the organization has facilitated the competition, which last occurred in 2017. A Moai is group of people who get together at regular intervals for 10 weeks. The term originates from Okinawa, Japan, a Blue Zone, where parents form their children into groups when they turn 5 years of age as a way to instill a sense of lifelong social connectedness. Many of the centenarians living in Okinawa have been with their Moai for 80 to 90 years.

Blue Zones Project uses the Moai structure as a vehicle to help people feel more connected and fulfilled within the workplace. Ninety-four teams participated in this year’s competition, and included 428 people from 18 worksites. Launching on May 13, the competition ran for 10 weeks and ended on July 19. The teams logged their activities as they connected with their colleagues outside of their regular work tasks. There were a wide variety of activities reported including camping, yoga, 101-mile long bike rides, lunch-time salad clubs, volunteering together, movie nights, knitting circles, and motorcycle rides, among many others.

Don York, co-chair of the Blue Zones Project Worksite Committee and VP of Human Resources at Sky Lakes Medical Center said, “I believe Moais are the perfect mix of what Sky Lakes and the Blue Zones Project have long advocated: Move more and stress less! From my perspective as a healthcare professional in a leadership position for the majority of my career and co-chair of the Blue Zones Worksite Team, I recognize the benefits of Moais and I encourage other leaders to actively cultivate Moais in their workplaces. Moais can contribute to better health and morale among their employees, which positively impacts productivity. Everyone wins!”

Teams and worksites were celebrated not only for logging the most hours, but also for their creativity.

Cleverest Moai Name award:

n Kale Yeah! –Jeld-Wen Risk Management Deptartment

n Chafing the Dream –Klamath County Sherriff’s Office

n Sons of Midges – Running Y Properties Engineering Deptartment

n Cirque du Sore Legs – Lutheran Community Services

n Red Hot Chili Steppers –AmeriTitle

A “Mini Moai” and “Mega Moai” bracket separated the competitors into two categories, representing employers of 100 employees or less, and those employing over 100. Runners up in the team competition received swag bags, and the first place winners received a trophy and custom shirts for their teammates.

Moai team runneruUps:

n Mega Moai Bracket: Snales with 98.25 hours – Running Y Properties

n Mini Moai Bracket: Gong Light-Bud Light with 62 hours – Cascade Comprehensive Care

Moai Team First Place Winners

n Mega Moai Bracket: Spa-Zen with 143.5 hours – Running Y Properties

n Mini Moai Bracket: Captain Crunch and the Cereal Killers with 187.5 hours – Oregon Department of Transportation – Klamath Falls

Some worksites hosted more than one team, and those who logged the most cumulative hours were announced at the close of Tuesday’s event. The two runner-up teams won a custom cornhole set for their office, and the overall grand prize winners were awarded a Gold’s Gym Elliptical.

Moai worksite competition runner-ups:

n Mega Moai worksite runner up: Sky Lakes Medical Center with 305.75 total worksite team hours

n Mini Moai worksite runner up: Cascade Comprehensive Care with 99.5 total worksite team hours

Moai worksite competition grand prize winners:

n Mega Moai worksite grand prize winner: Running Y Properties with 529.25 total worksite team hours

n Mini Moai worksite grand prize winner: Oregon Department of Transportation with 187.5 total worksite team hours

Blue Zones Project would like to give a round of applause to the community for their continued commitment to prioritizing well-being in the places where we live, work, learn and play. For more information about Blue Zones Project or Blue Zones Approved Organizations, email BlueZonesProject@HealthyKlamath.org.