New Employee Fitness Challenge Starts Jan. 23

Registration opens Dec. 1 to compete alone or as teams in 'Get Moving Challenge'

Alex Martinez, a specialist in the Office of Research Support, uses Duke's Run/Walk Club as a way to stay in shape. Get Moving Challenge participants can use LIVE FOR LIFE programs to achieve goals during the fitness competition. Photo by Bryan Roth

This January, Duke is launching the "Get Moving Challenge," a new fitness competition to help employees achieve health and exercise goals.

During the challenge, which runs Jan. 23 through April 1, faculty and staff can form teams and compete against others to see who can walk the most steps, lose the most weight or exercise the most minutes. A free pedometer will be provided to the first 2,000 participants to track steps. Registration is now open for Duke employees and enrollment in the program is unlimited."We've had great feedback from employees that having aspects of competition helps them work harder to achieve fitness goals, which is exactly what we want to see," said Julie Joyner, manager of LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke employee wellness program and sponsor of the challenge. "Not only will Get Moving provide that, but the categories to compete in offer something for everyone."After signing up, participants choose to compete in one, two or all three categories by themselves or with a team. Teams between five and 11 Duke employees can be created during the registration process, which begins Dec. 1. The success of teams will be based on the averaged (not accumulated) stats of a team in a competition category. So, if five teammates compete in exercise minutes and each work out 90 minutes a week, their team score for that week will be 90 minutes.Kim Harris, director of Academic Human Resources Services in the Office of the Provost, will sign up for Get Moving. She enjoyed last year's wellness program, Feel Like a Million, another online wellness competition that encouraged participants to become virtual millionaires by accumulating fake online money for making healthy choices. She said the team camaraderie of Feel Like a Million kept her and other coworkers focused on health goals such as walking more and keeping a food journal to monitor what is eaten throughout the day."Being part of a team was a good way to stay motivated through the program because we didn't want to let anyone down on our team," Harris said. "We all wanted to do our best for each other."During the Get Moving Challenge, participants can check the Get Moving website daily for updated leader boards to see team leaders in weight loss, exercise minutes and pedeometer steps. At the end of the program, participants who track their progress in eight out of 10 weeks will receive a free "Get Moving" T-shirt. Teams that win each category will be presented with a trophy.To register and for more information, visit the Get Moving Challenge website.