Friday, January 23, 2009

Building healthy lives with Be Fit

STEPPING UP FOR GOOD HEALTH: Be Fit 12's "Day Care Divas" team, comprising employees from the SDSU OR, came out in full force to see how their health measured up one year after completing the program.

The MGH's Be Fit program, an initiative aimed at helping employees maintain healthy lives through good nutrition and regular exercise, has changed the lives of hundreds of MGHers since it was first implemented at the hospital in 2005. While many participants have made significant improvements in their health during the 10 weeks of Be Fit, one of the program's main goals is to help individuals make these changes a permanent part of their lives. To that end, a research team has been studying the long-term effectiveness of Be Fit, monitoring key health measures such as cholesterol levels, body fat percentage, weight and blood pressure at the beginning of the program, at its completion and again one year after participants complete the program. Last month, Be Fit staffers completed a record number of these one-year assessments on the "survivors" of Be Fit 12. Leading the turnout for the evaluations was the "Day Care Divas" team, comprising staff from the Same Day Surgical Unit (SDSU) Operating Room.


Be Fit also celebrated a second milestone with the completion of Be Fit 15. During a special awards ceremony Nov. 25, participating teams were celebrated for their accomplishments in a number of categories. The "Thin Slices" Ultrasound and Radiology team took top honors in three categories-- number of food logs, number of exercise points and total weight loss --while the "Lean and Clean" group from Environmental Services ranked first in number of steps taken and in the Relaxation Response category, a technique similar to meditation taught by the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at MGH. Other teams participating in Be Fit 15 were "Active Antibodies" from Pathology, "Fit Phat Pharm" from Pharmacy, "Force Be Fit You" from the Office of Research Career Development and "Jags" from Nutrition and Food Services.

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