Implementing a Campus-Based Weight Loss/Fitness Challenge

Kirk, Ron; Banks, Pat
March 2008
Journal of Chiropractic Education (Association of Chiropractic C;Spring2008, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p67
Academic Journal
Introduction: Numerous studies indicate that obesity and sedentary living are increasing in America at alarming rates, Obesity is associated with many prevalent disorders that compromise the quality of life, including back pain and spinal disorders. Objectives: The principal objective of this project was to design and implement a weight loss/fitness challenge beginning on World Spine Day in collaboration with the Bone and Joint Decade. It was hoped that this fitness challenge would help to empower members of the campus community in healthy behaviors and choices. Methods: A work group was formed to develop a World Spine Day plan. The Wellness Center director agreed to organize and coordinate the World Spine Day Weight Loss/Fitness Challenge as the centerpiece of campus activities. The director of the Wellness Center conducted group meetings with her staff, personal trainers, health coaches, and interested students. The plan included diverse exercise and nutrition classes, and prizes for incentives. Challenge participants completed anonymous feedback surveys, which were Institutional Review Board exempt because they were descriptive educational research. Results: Twenty-eight of the original 108 challenge participants completed the challenge. Four survey respondents (22%) reported losing no weight. Three participants (17%) reported losing 1 to 2 pounds; three challengers (17%) lost 2 to 4 pounds; three individuals (17%) lost 5 to 9 pounds; four (22%) lost 10 to 15 pounds; and one lost more than 20 pounds. Most responding participants reported that the challenge helped them to improve their health habits and feel better about themselves. Participants appreciated the classes, health coaches, and prizes. Discussion and Conclusion: The continuing trend toward sedentary living and weight gain in America needs to be addressed aggressively. It is vital that health care institutions offer incentives and programs that promote healthy behavior. The challenge is now being conducted each school term on a continuing basis.


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