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Jan. 27, 2011 Volume 32, No. 17

Business school gets moving with million-step fitness challenge

walk challenge

TEAM EFFORT Jada Reynolds, Doug Tarwater, Michelle Vollrath and Shahn Hogan take a turn on Carnahan Quadrangle last week as part of a 1 million-step fitness challenge in the Trulaske School of Business. The friendly competition involves faculty, staff and students. Rob Hill photo


Competition draws 68 faculty, staff and students

Employees and doctoral students in the Trulaske College of Business are committed to living healthier lifestyles in 2011. But along with counting calories, they’re counting steps.

Last  fall, Jada Reynolds, Daniel Turban and Shahn Hogan helped organize a six-month challenge to employees to log 1 million steps through the Million Step Pedometer Program, sponsored by Healthy For Life, the T.E. Atkins University of Missouri Wellness Program.

The friendly competition began Nov. 1 and attracted 68 faculty, staff and doctoral candidates, who formed 10 teams with names such as “We Got Sole,” “Hot Trotters,” “Accountants on the Run,” “Walkabouts,” and “Marketing Millionaire Marathoners.”

Hogan, a programmer analyst specialist in the college, designed a web page that allows members to record their steps and follow each team’s progress toward its goal.

Three months into the challenge, the Management PhD’s team is ahead, meeting 61 percent of its 6 million-step goal. The Marketing Millionaire Marathoners are at 48.9 percent of its 12 million-step goal. 

“This is not all about being the best or who comes in first,” Hogan says, “but it is about being healthier.”

Reynolds and Turban are the challenge’s cheerleaders. Turban sent recruitment e-mails to everyone in the college, while Reynolds was responsible for collecting the $15 fee for the pedometers, distributing the devices and registering participants in the program. 

One incentive to sticking with the challenge is that participants who reach the 1 million-step level are reimbursed for the cost of the pedometer. They also become eligible to win a gift basket to be awarded in May.

Reynolds says she was surprised by the number of business school faculty, staff and students who accepted the challenge.

“We did it to promote wellness in the college and thought six months was long enough to encourage our employees and students to participate in the challenge and continue to exercise regularly,” she says. “Having the teams made it more fun for people, especially for the students who are on teams with faculty and staff. This gives them a chance to build friendships and get to know others in the college.”

Experts agree that you should get 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity several times a week, and walking is one of the easiest and most popular ways to keep fit.

 “Anything that gets you walking with your colleagues or spouse after work is all good,” says Turban, who racks up a few thousand steps on campus by walking on breaks, taking the stairs instead of using elevators and parking farther from Cornell Hall. “When I watch TV at home, I usually dance during the commercials or use my elliptical machine.

“The key thing,” he continued, “is we are just trying to have fun.”