UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Walk It Off

021710Feature1_SpartanStepsThink it’s hard to get rid of five percent of your weight? How about for your department as a whole?

The Spartan STEPS wellness initiative was started last fall by Human Resource Services to create friendly competition among participating departmental teams – “Biggest Loser” style – and promote weight loss and wellness. The winning team for Fall 2009 was recently announced: Student Affairs.

Fall’s competition focused on weight loss. The spring competition (see below) will focus much less on weight loss and instead, on walking or jogging – literally taking steps toward better health.

But last fall, weight loss was the focus. Seven teams competed: TLC, Student Affairs, Office of Safety, Police, HRS, Student Health and Graduate School.

Teams began the competition by posting their total team weight. From there, biweekly weigh-ins were conducted. HRS would calculate the overall team weight loss percentage and post it on the online leaderboard.

Some teams participated in sub-challenges, such as group walks, healthy lunches, or physical activity events, with other teams. And a few sabotage antics were observed, such as the delivery of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the leading team.

Chancellor Brady, along with Jason Morris and Melissa Barnes of HRS, presented the winning plaque to Student Affairs on Jan. 28. (See visual.)

“I need to know how many pounds were lost,” Brady told the group, everyone smiling.

“Five percent,” volunteered Melissa Barnes.

“Wow,” said the chancellor. “This is so exciting.” She spoke with and congratulated each member of the team. In the background was the tap-tap-tap of a hammer and nail, Student Affairs wasting no time in hanging their plaque in their foyer.

They talked of how they had won: some members are running, some are exercising at Campus Rec, they’re all eating healthier. “We don’t bring in homemade goodies – except for students,” one said.

Josh Green has begun training in earnest for triathlons. Brett Carter has focused on running, doing a half-marathon and 5K in recent months. Kim Sousa-Peoples and Jennifer Goff are avid runners as well. Others enjoy walking or going to the gym.

Amy Jones, the team’s point person, told CW, “Almost everyone participated.” She added that it was “just fun to have the camaradarie – the support of each other.”

The new campus-wide Spartan STEPS challenge:

This spring semester’s challenge will be tailored around the concept of “10,000 steps a day for 100 days.” It’ll be a million steps to make you, hopefully, feel like a million. The challenge period will run from March 1 to June 8.

Departmental teams and/or individual faculty and staff are challenged to walk/run more steps within 100 days than any other participant.

HRS will provide pedometers to participants to track the amount of steps they take, TIAA-Cref is providing water bottles to keep participants hydrated, and the Graduate School is supplying sunglasses to help shade eyes during those sunny day walks. (All while supplies last.)

HRS and Rhonda Strader (FDC) have started to plot walking routes around campus. Maps are available. Participants may share other “trails” that they may walk regularly.

Participants will log their steps on the Spartan STEPS web site and compete to be on the top 5 steppers leaderboard and for a chance to win weekly prizes.

At the conclusion of the 100 day period, a winning team and individual will be announced. The winning departmental team will take ownership of the title. The winning plaque, currently displayed as you enter Student Affairs, will get its new home.

The winning individual will be awarded with the top prize of a $100 gift certificate to and provided by Omega Sports in Greensboro. Individual second and third place prizes will be also be awarded.

More information on how to sign up and receive your free pedometer will be announced in an upcoming Campus Weekly.

Questions? Contact Jason Morris or Melissa Barnes in HRS, 4-5009.