Employees On Pace for Weight Loss Record

Faculty, staff drop over a ton of weight  - so far - in Get Moving Challenge

Rachel Lundberg has used the Get Moving Challenge as a reason to go for a walk at East Campus during her lunch breaks. Photo by Bryan Roth.
Rachel Lundberg has used the Get Moving Challenge as a reason to go for a walk at East Campus during her lunch breaks. Photo by Bryan Roth.

In the first month of Duke’s Get Moving Challenge, nearly 2,500 employees are on pace to set a new record for amount of weight lost during the 10-week competition.

Since the team-based health competition began Jan. 12, faculty and staff have combined to lose about 2,500 pounds, which is already close to passing 2014’s total (2,761 pounds) and more than halfway to 2012’s record (3,879 pounds).

In addition to shedding weight, employees have combined to log about 121,000 miles worth of steps and exercised for about 16,000 hours. There is still plenty of time left to rack up numbers, as the Get Moving Challenge runs until March 22.

“It’s fantastic that collectively, we’re able to lose over one ton of weight with several weeks still to go,” said Nick Beresic, health promotion manager with LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program that’s sponsoring Get Moving. “Seeing the commitment people are making to their health is very inspiring.”

Seth Cotton is using Get Moving as motivation to get in shape and he’s found that using a pedometer and tracking steps has led to success.

“I try to check my pedometer three times throughout the day to see where I’m at, because I need to get a minimum of about 5,000 steps,” said Cotton, chaplain resident at the Medical Center. “If I’m below my count when I finish work, my wife and I will go out and do two or three laps around our neighborhood so I can balance things out.”

Rachel Lundberg has also found encouragement through the program, planning to take even more steps every day with a goal of no fewer than 20,000. She’s already surpassed 680,000 steps in the first five weeks of competition by going for walks during breaks in her work day and around East Campus at lunch and after work.

“It’s about taking the spare time you have and doing something with it,” said Lundberg, catalog librarian for serials with Duke Libraries’ Electronic Resources & Serials Management. “Going for a walk allows me to get in steps easily, but also to reflect and think about things from my day.”