ALL LACED UP: Mues, left, and Cohen
Five years ago, after Joseph Cohen broke both of his shoulders during a seizure, he was told by his doctors that he had extremely low bone density. “I realized that, to get better, there was no better time to step it up and get healthier,” says the EEG technician in the MGH Department of Neurology.
And “step it up” is just what Cohen – along with several other MGH staff members – has done in the past few weeks as part of the most recent Be Fit Walking Challenge, which kicked off at the end of September. The program, which runs through Dec. 16, is an ongoing competition among staff to track the number of steps taken on a daily basis. The program’s goal is to increase the activity level of all employees and help busy staff members be more mindful of incorporating exercise into their daily lives. Participants track their steps and record them at the end of each week.
For Matthew Mues, senior finance manager in the Center for Systems Biology, walking to stay fit has long been a part of his daily life. “I don’t own a car and walk my dog, so that helps with keeping active,” says Muse, who uses an electronic wristband to track his activity. Working as a caddy also helps increase his steps – typically about five to six miles for 18 holes of golf.
“But that depends on who is playing – sometimes it can be a lot more than that,” he laughs.
And while the real reward for those participating in the Be Fit Walking Challenge is the benefit of better health, participants say the accountability of tracking steps and the sense of competition don’t hurt. “In the first week, I saw that someone had taken 300,000 more steps than I had, so my goal become to walk more and pass that person before the challenge ends,” Cohen says.
All staff are welcome to join the challenge at any time. Participants will be entered to win prizes including Be Fit lunch bags, aprons, T-shirts and Patriots tickets. For more information, visit www.mghbefit.com/walking-challenge or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more articles from the 11/01/13 Hotline issue.