Competition improves employees' health - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Competition improves employees' health

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August 19, 2004

Valdosta - Nurse Gloria Crawford spends most of the work day on her feet. "So far this morning, I've walked 2000 steps," said Crawford.

And her steps have never counted as much as they do now. Her team is hoping they'll take the trophy in the South Health District's "Lets Get Physical" competition. "We have 232 people signed up so far," said Jennifer Steedley, Public Information Officer.

Each employee wears a pedometer that counts the number of steps they take. Their goal is 10,000 steps each day, which is roughly about five miles. "Five miles has been shown to reduce chronic illness and early death in many Americans," said Steedley.

The idea was sparked by a study of chronic diseases in the district. "Throughout the state, we had the third highest rate of obesity and one of the highest diabetes rate too," said Steedley.

And while they're only four days into the program, attitudes are already changing. "People are in better moods, the stress level seems to be less, people area checking out each others steps," said Steedley.

Some employees are even taking it beyond the office. "A lot of teams are planning at least one night a week where they can meet their team and go to the track or the mall to get those extra steps in," said Steedley.

And no matter which team ends up with the most strides, they'll all be winners when it comes to their health.

posted at 4:20 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com