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Employees 'Wake Up & Walk'
OD Exercise Campaign Catches On

You must have seen the OD employees who decided to "Wake Up and Walk." You couldn't miss the 140 OD'ers stretching and walking their way to improved fitness. They were everywhere — campus, Rockledge and Executive Blvd.

The campaign was established by the OD EEO advisory committee to reach out to employees who do not regularly exercise. It was a tremendous success. Using pedometers as an incentive and trainers as motivators, employees in the original campaign walked twice each week from Oct. 2 through Dec. 5. Accolades and gratitude from the employees continue to arrive. Participants report feeling more energetic to confront afternoon work demands. Many indicate that they have lost weight and a few report that it has helped them with their diabetes. Employees from many different organizations walked together. Many did not know each other previously and, as a bonus, new networks were formed. Some workplace assignments will be completed more smoothly because of these new contacts.

Participants in the OD exercise campaign high step during warm-up routines.

The OD campaign was developed because of NIH's interest in the health of its employees. Dr. Yvonne Maddox, NIH acting deputy director, was very encouraging. She presented the concept to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson during his fall visit. He was so enthusiastic that he suggested the "Wake Up and Walk" slogan.

The success of the effort is further demonstrated by the many informal groups that have organized and continue to walk on a regular basis. The camaraderie and energy continue to grow. A plan to expand the campaign is also under discussion.


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