The program, Climb IU, challenges participants to climb a total of 56 flights of stairs over three weeks. The 56 flights of stairs represent the total number of levels of the tallest academic building on each IU campus.
“We wanted an initiative that was fun and focuses on healthy living and exercise particularly in January,” Jackie Braspenninx, manager of Healthy IU, said.
Healthy IU focuses on employee health and wellness initiatives on all IU campuses. The goal of the department is to try to empower employees for easy, healthy lifestyles. Although this program is directed toward employees, all environmental changes that occur due to this program have a direct effect on the students of IU.
This is the first year this three-week challenge is taking place. The development took place in early November as an easy challenge that would fit well in participants’ intended New Year’s resolutions.
“It is not only an exercise challenge,” Braspenninx said. “There is a large sustainability aspect that can drive in a certain ?people.”
Participants are welcomed to register either as part of a team with one group leader or as an individual. The first 500 ?registered employees received a “Climb IU” T-shirt. The program has run out of shirts, but that doesn’t stop the encouragement to still participate.
According to the records of the program, more than 1,500 employees have registered. Participants that complete and return their challenge tracking log are eligible for team and individual incentives, including Fitbits, fitness center passes or a basket full of wellness amenities.
The main goal is to make taking the stairs part of participants’ daily routines. By taking the stairs, participants will have a more active everyday life and burn off unwanted calories with more ease.
Through registration, participants are able to see a list of the tallest buildings on all of IU’s campuses. Wells Library, with 14 levels, is the tallest on the Bloomington campus.
In addition, statistics and facts related to the benefits of taking the stairs are shared for multiple ?incentives. For example, using stairs burns twice as many calories as walking, and six flights a day can lead to an 18-pound weight loss over one year, ?according to Healthy IU.
When the challenge comes to a close, an evaluation will be sent out to all participants asking about any possible barriers that occurred throughout the three weeks. Once this assessment is made, necessary changes will be put into action, allowing employees to move more and save energy at the same time.
One team and one individual winner will be chosen at random from each regional campus, and three team and individual winners will be chosen from IU-Purdue University Indianapolis and IU-Bloomington due to the significantly larger sizes of these campuses. In order to be in the running, one must turn in a completed tracking sheet.
IU employees must register by Feb. 5. The challenge began Jan. 29 and ends Feb. 19. The final completed tracker is due to the Campus Mail by Feb. 20.