Start where you are, get where you want to be in terms of fitness

Topics: Athletics, Human Resources

August 24, 2007

Working Well Program
Pam Robbins and Sam Clemmons enjoy a nice walk on the pathways in front of the Administration Building.
So often, we as faculty and staff members hear what steps we can take to improve our jobs, our departments, our university.

Now, we're hearing about the what steps we literally can take to improve ourselves.

As part of a new health and wellness initiative, Ball State is launching a "Start Where You Are" campaign, designed to get employees on their feet and exercising at the fitness level most comfortable to them. Whether you are a casual walker, a sprinter or a marathon runner, you set your own pace.

To kick off the event, Ball State's Working Well office is coordinating a "McKinley Mile" walk and a health fair beginning at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at LaFollette Field. Leading the walk will be Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora, who spoke about the university's strategic efforts to promote healthier lifestyles and reduce health care premiums at the fall faculty convocation Aug. 17. In addition, the University Marching Band will help set the pace for the walk, which ends in the Quadrangle. This path - and others - will be marked so anyone can follow it on future walks.

Helping coordinate the walk, the health information fair and a host of upcoming wellness programs is Patty Hollingsworth, the Working Well program director.

"At the fair, we will have information about all the services we are able to provide to employees," Hollingsworth said of the 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 4 information program on the Quad lawn. "Ball State already offers many programs and services to employees, but not everyone knows what is offered or is familiar with how to take advantage of these opportunities to improve their wellness."

For example, Ball State's adult physical fitness program offers advice about what exercise programs are suitable for individuals and how people can take their regiments to the next level, Hollingsworth said. And the university's recreational services offers fitness programs for people of all ages and abilities.

Health fair participants will receive free pedometers, apples and blood pressure checks. Participants can learn about other services Ball State offers or will offer soon such as nutritional counseling, Weight Watchers at Work, adult fitness programs, tobacco cessation, managing stress and an upcoming employee quick care center and pharmacy.

Hollingsworth said the university's Health Enhancement Committee hopes to create even more excitement for the wellness initiative by offering prizes and trophies to teams that register to participate in a 10,000-steps-a-day challenge. Teams will compete by walking or undertaking other physical activities for about six weeks, ending Oct. 19.

"Winning is based on participation," Hollingsworth said. "So you are an important part of your team's success. If you prefer other aerobic activities to walking, you can contribute to your team's participation goal by tracking your jogging, swimming, biking, dancing or other aerobic activity."

The team spirit starts Sept. 4, when the first 30 employees of each academic and business division will be given colored visors to signal competitive groups. They are as follows:

  • College of Applied Sciences and Technology - red
  • College of Architecture and Planning - teal
  • Miller College of Business - green
  • College of Communication, Information, and Media and the Information Technology division - orange
  • College of Fine Arts - blue
  • College of Sciences and Humanities - white
  • Teachers College - pink
  • Departments within Business Affairs - yellow
  • Student Affairs; University Advancement; Enrollment, Marketing, and Communications; Academic Affairs; and the President's and Provost's
    offices -  purple

Other upcoming events include:

  • Sept. 13 - Weight Watchers at Work. This is a new program to Ball State. Orientation and registration, from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. in Teacher College, room 112.
  • Sept. 20 - fasting cholesterol and blood pressure screening, from 6 to 9 a.m. at the Human Performance Laboratory.

For more information, go to www.bsu.edu/workingwell or call (765) 285-8461.

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