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Hanscom personnel take the challenge, walk to better health

Posted 7/21/2011   Updated 7/21/2011 Email story   Print story


by Mark Wyatt
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

7/21/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- A total of 6,639,399 steps were taken as Hanscom personnel walked their way to a healthier lifestyle during the Air Force Materiel Command's Team Pedometer Challenge. Thirty people from Hanscom recently completed this initiative designed to promote an increase of daily physical activity.

The TPC involved three key elements: attending a minimum of three wellness classes, walking and participating in one base fun run.

"The three elements help to encourage an overall healthy lifestyle approach with attainable goals," said Deanne Casey, Civilian Health Promotion Services health educator and a registered nurse.

The challenge spanned a six week period, allowing participants the time to introduce good health habits, build a routine and learn about nutritional education. The intent of the TPC was to foster the AFMC Wingman concept by encouraging participants to work together to achieve their goals. Each team consisted of two members.

"The TPC is a program that didn't focus solely on weight loss, but being more active, and this was our goal," said Antoinette Greene, health promotion coordinator for the AFMC Surgeon General's office.

The TPC began with a simple assessment of each participant's overall health by completing the Health Risk Appraisal tool available at the Wellness Support Center website at www.afmcwellness.com. The site also served as the enrollment portal for the challenge, as well as where teams entered their daily step count in the pedometer log.

The AFMC website provided a wealth of information and many tracking tools, according to Ms. Casey.

The top three teams were determined by the amount of steps taken, whether both participants attended the required three educational classes each and if each member of the team participated in at least one fun run hosted by the Fitness and Sports Center.

In addition to achieving healthier habits, the challenge introduced many participants to the Health and Wellness Center's (HAWC) programs that are available to them as well as the fitness center's fun runs held each month. Many TPC classes were offered at the Brown Building, also.

"I had never gone to any of the HAWC classes available to us as employees," said Teresa O'Donnell, a member of the second place team, the Ground Moving Techy Integrators. "I also completed my first 5K at the fitness center."

Although the challenge is complete, all Hanscom active duty personnel and civilians are still encouraged to fill out and submit the Health Risk Appraisal and all CHPS classes are now offered in every building for all organizations for the convenience of civilians, active duty personnel and contractors.

For further information about classes offered by CHPS or the HAWC, contact Ms. Deanne Casey, at 781-377-8467 or via email at deanne.casey.ctr@hanscom.af.mil.

Winning teams
First Place: Dark Side with Elaine
Team members: Diane Grant and Barb Signoretti
Walked 939,920 steps

Second Place: The Ground Moving Techy Integrators
Team members: Teresa O'Donnell and Joshua Poulin
Walked 722,457 steps

Third Place: Shoe Leather Express
Team members: Rodney Arndt and Leah Reichner
Walked 405,754 steps

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