Wellness Initiative Proves Fitness Can Be Fun

startLast summer, Kinesiology’s Engagement and Inclusion Committee came up with a novel idea for building community, creating some friendly competition, and promoting good health through exercise.

Based on the statement “This project is at the heart, doing the work of kinesiology, while also providing our School the opportunity to talk, interact, and engage around something related but not requisite to our daily work,” the 2015-16 Wellness Initiative was launched at the beginning of Fall semester. Department faculty and staff were provided free fitness trackers and encouraged to set daily goals for walking, running, or biking and tracking sleep for health and work-life balance.

Forty-four Jawbone UP Move devices were handed out, and participants were able to track their daily activities through the UP app. Those who didn’t have compatible devices were able to keep track of their activities in a Google spreadsheet by using an IFTT recipe.

Undergraduate and Graduate Students, Faculty and StaffCall for Submissions!Deadline_ Monday, Feb. 1, 2016This semester, the Wellness Initiative recognized staff and faculty for their achievements. Participation happened on all kind of levels from preparing to run the Twin Cities marathon to reaching a goal of 5000 steps a day.

To add to the fun, the “Hotshot of the Week” competition was introduced to recognize all the overachievers who reside in our department. Each week during the semester, the Wellness Initiative announced a Hotshot, participants who were nominated by a colleague for their (fitness) achievements. The Hotshot received a shout-out and a certificate. The Engagement and Inclusion Committee also provided weekly tips on keeping motivated and making best use of the tracker, such as Winter exercise ideas. For even more rewards, the KINWell BINGO card was introduced.

The program will continue next semester as well. Fitness trackers are offered free to any staff and faculty in the department, so if you’ve been thinking about participating but haven’t done so yet, contact kin-engage@umn.edu. If you have your own tracking device, why not invite a colleague to a fitness challenge.

Silke Moeller says, “I have personally challenged Dr. Konczak, Brandi Hoffman, Tricia Davies and Carol Nielson for a 3-day-step count. I have had chats in the hallway, talks and laughter created by this initiative and last but not least, I learned a lot about myself: A day sitting at my desk will never give me enough exercise and I feel more energized and satisfied when I achieved my daily goal. I even ended up liking my ‘smart coach’ who encourages me to push myself.“

The Kinesiology’s Engagement and Inclusion Committee would like to hear from you and get your anonymous feedback:

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