By Sue Moore
Wellness is a goal many people work to obtain, and not so many succeed, said Kim Armitage, science teacher at Vicksburg High School. She is the positive force for the employees of the Vicksburg School District as she spearheads the drive for healthy school employees through an incentive offer of a ‘Fitbit’ to every person signing up for the wellness program that was run through West Michigan Health insurance staff.
“We thought it was a good idea to offer a ‘carrot’ to sign up for this goal setting opportunity. We asked the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation if they would finance the cost of the gadget that participants could use to track steps, distance, calories burned, and stairs climbed. They agreed to fund the ‘Fitbit’ for whatever number of staff that signed up for the program and we
were off and running,” she said.
Joining the program did involve a commitment to fill out a questionnaire about current exercise activities, foods consumed, and a blood draw that would give the status of cholersterol and sugars as a base line. When that was completed, staff were
provided the ‘fitbit’. It was expected that over 100 personnel would take part in the program, she said.
The instrument clips on to clothing and measures the above items along with monitoring sleep patterns. Participants can set up their own goals, exercise regimen, fiber intake and reducing the amount of sugar they eat. The important thing is motivation to reach goals by bringing greater fitness into each person’s life, Armitage said.