Biola staff participate in pedometer competition for third consecutive year

For the third consecutive year, Biola staff and faculty are participating in a pedometer contest to promote a healthier campus.


Rachel Adams/THE CHIMES

Jackie Grade, Writer

Promoting fitness and igniting healthy competition among employees, Biola has implemented a walking challenge that counts each participant’s steps. | Rachel Adams/THE CHIMES

Biola staff and faculty members are locked in a pedometer contest to promote a healthier campus and get their daily exercise, according to Sherri Price, human resources benefits manager.

For the third year in a row, Biola has implemented a walking challenge that counts each participant’s steps in order to promote fitness and bring some healthy competition for the school’s employees, according to Price.

As of Nov. 9 — the seventh week of the contest — participants had accumulated 139,921,662 steps since the contest started on Sept. 24, Price said. The competition will end Dec. 4.

New rules to increase motivation

In the past, the goal was for the participants as a whole to reach 200 million steps. Since the participants have reached this goal both times, this year Biola added new rules. For example, each person is encouraged to reach a goal of taking at least 6,000 steps every day for the 10-week period in order to remain in the competition.

Although theirs is considered a sedentary lifestyle, many people who sit at a desk all day have had to step it up a little in order to meet this standard. Those who reach 6,000 steps each day for 10 weeks receive one half-day off of work after the competition. If one takes more than 10,000 steps a day, he or she will receive an additional prize.

“There is the new motivation to walk with someone for 30 minutes and possibly win a mug or a T-shirt,” said Wayne Newman, a contestant who works in the IT department, in reference to getting a day off.

As one who runs at leisure, Newman has been putting in the extra effort and steps in his mileage. Newman has counted an average of 1,800 steps in one mile. In order to step up the odds, he has been running about 13 miles each time he slips on his running shoes.

Bringing unity through competition

On the Biola Pedometer webpage — accessible only to those who participate — Newman types in his own steps and views the steps of his co-workers. As participants near the end of this light-hearted competition, they are encouraging one another to get up and take a walk during a lunch break or wake up early and get a little pre-work exercise in, according to Price.

Price — a self-proclaimed advocate of this competition — said she has also been encouraged by the unity this has brought the 438 competitors. She described how enjoyable it is for her to stop co-workers in the middle of the day and ask how many steps they have taken so far.

Even though the competition only calls for participants to take 6,000 steps daily, the American Heart Association website recommends a 10,000-step day. Price has also made this her daily goal. Based on her calculations, Price presumes walking is a 30-minute workout every day and deems it doable and worth it if she wants to reach her target.

Each day adds a growing sense of anticipation and innocent rivalry, Price said.

“If the students see the staff and faculty taking an active role in their health, I hope they will be encouraged to do the same. Poor habits in taking care of ourselves isn't something we see the consequences for right away,” Price said.

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