Volume 13, Number 8 December 2, 2005

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Staff covers ground to promote wellness

Like the patrons of the Fit Centre, some employees of Facilities Management Division (FMD) have also covered a lot of ground – but instead of using treadmills, they just used their feet.

In a unique wellness event that was associated with the annual North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week activities, some 100 FMD staff members strapped on pedometers to record their steps. By the end of 15 weeks, the group had taken a combined total of 16,767,481 steps, the equivalent of walking across Canada, said Carla Forester, the division’s Safety and Environment Manager.

In addition to getting some exercise, the employees also burned a total of 838,374 calories.

“This was something that I thought would get people moving,” said Forester, “because being in better shape means you’ll feel better mentally, physically and emotionally.”

The emphasis on wellness in FMD continues even after the pedometer event. Joanne Kadotchnikov, a final-year Kinesiology student, is doing her practicum placement in the division, organizing at least one physical activity and one lunchtime seminar each month. Forester said one challenge is to make sure the information and activities are available to all employees, no matter what shift they work. So far, there’s been a yoga class and a seminar that addressed healthy lifestyle choices including weight management, nutrition and exercise.

Forester said Kadotchnikov has also arranged for FMD employees and their families to play floor hockey every Sunday. She added she would encourage all employee groups to make use of the many experts on campus, including students in practicum placements, who can help raise awareness about wellness.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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