City school district employees set their healthy lifestyle on fire
by Rory Doyle
May 01, 2013 | 2652 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cleveland School District employees are going to be burning up their feet.

Staff enrolled in the State and School Employees' Health Insurance plan are eligible to participate in the Feet on Fire! Walking Challenge that is put on by WebMD.

They will be burning up the street — and some calories — while trying to average 10,000 steps on at least 18 days from May 1 until June 10.

Today is the last day for challenge registration at www.webmdhealth.com/Mississippi.

"Once they join, they'll be walking like their feet are on fire," said CSD nurse Mandy Wilburn, also the activity leader.

"We are trying to encourage everyone to have a healthy way of living."

The campaign aims to improve health, reduce stress and allow participants to earn bragging rights.

Pedometers will be used to keep up with daily steps, which will be tracked on the Motivation Mississippi page through WebMD.

The movement will be team-based, with groups taking on the responsibility of meeting the 10,000-step goal. Members of the top three teams who meet the requirements and average the most steps will receive a prize.

Each team will be named after a famous Mississippian.

CSD will be going up against approximately 20 other teams from across the state.

"Even if you don't win a prize it's still a win-win for your health," added Wilburn. "Walking can help with stress, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure."

Wilburn said it's also about setting a good example for students.

"If the kids see us out walking, even if it's after school or walking in the community, we're showing how important it is to be moving and staying active," she said.

Wilburn has also been encouraging healthy activities and challenges throughout the year to district employees.

CSD Central Office staff and Pearman Elementary recently participated in a fruit and vegetable challenge for four weeks.

"We had a first, second and third place winner for the ones who logged the most fruit and vegetables in four weeks," said Wilburn. "Afterwards, most everyone said they would keep focusing on eating more fruits and vegetables."

The effort to boost healthy living is one Wilburn and CSD will stay dedicated to.

"It would be good for our state if we can continue to get our obesity numbers down for adults and children," she said. "A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone and I think our community is improving."