'Get Moving' in 2014 with Free Fitness Help

Annual employee health competition includes prizes, free certified 5K race

Last year, faculty and staff participated together in Durham's "Great Human Race" 5K event at the conclusion of the Get Moving Challenge. This year, employees will be able to run or walk the Blue Devil Dash 5K on West Campus for free. Photo courtesy of L

Beginning Jan. 13, faculty and staff can "get moving" to shed weight and get in shape in 2014.

That's when the Get Moving Challenge, Duke's annual employee health competition, returns for a 10-week run. As a bonus to this year's Challenge, participants who track their weight loss, steps and/or exercise minutes for eight of the 10 weeks can participate at no charge in the March 22 Blue Devil Dash 5K, which also includes a race T-shirt.

As an extra incentive, active participants will also be entered into biweekly drawings to win a Fitbit Tracker, an activity tracker that measures daily steps taken, sleep and other personal metrics.

"We've seen a lot of enthusiasm for Get Moving in the past, but with an end goal to work toward, we're hopeful all our participants will find an extra push to reach their goals," said Julie Joyner, manager for LIVE FOR LIFE, sponsor of the Get Moving Challenge. "It will be exciting to see what everyone can do."

Registration is now open for the Get Moving Challenge, and faculty and staff can sign up through Jan. 27. Participants can compete individually or form teams of five to 11 employees. Competition focuses on who walks the most steps, exercises the most minutes and loses the most weight.

The first 2,500 participants competing in the steps category are eligible for a free pedometer, provided by LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program.

In last year's Get Moving Challenge, about 2,400 employees took 623 million steps - equivalent to about 11,300 marathons - and exercised 2.3 million minutes. Even more impressive, 730 out of 1,068 employees tracking weight loss during the 10-week competition lost a combined 3,907 pounds. That means 68 percent of those participants lost an average of five pounds.

As part of this year's program, employees will have access to online tips and information from LIVE FOR LIFE staff on how to healthfully lose weight and train for a 5K.

"Starting new routines can be hard, which is why we want to offer guidance to eat healthier and work toward fitness goals," said Lauren Updyke, fitness specialist with LIVE FOR LIFE. "We want this program to be fun, but also act as a way for faculty and staff to achieve whatever goal they may have."

For more information and to sign up, visit the Get Moving Challenge website.