Contest Gets Students Moving Toward Better Health
Cleveland Clinic’s Fairview Hospital and The Community West Foundation are making strides to combat childhood obesity with the success of a motivational contest that incentivized students to move more in 2015.
To inspire students to fit more physical activity into their lives, Fairview Hospital and The Community West Foundation used funds generated from the annual Straight from the Heart campaign to host a group activity contest that was open to classes in Northeast Ohio schools. Data published by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 12.5 million children and adolescents are obese. Youth who are regularly active have a better chance of a healthy adulthood. Obese children and adolescents have significantly higher risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or osteoporosis. Regular physical activity makes it less likely that these risk factors will develop and more likely that children will remain healthy as adults.
The contest was designed to increase student’s awareness of their physical activity levels by using a complimentary MOVband, a wrist-worn activity monitor. Students participated as a class group and encouraged each other to move an average of 60 minutes per day, or approximately 10,000 movements, the amount of physical activity recommended.
To apply, classes submitted enthusiastic videos explaining why they should be selected and their intentions for the prize money. Seventeen classes from schools throughout Northeast Ohio were selected to participate in the activity portion of the contest. The activity portion of the contest involved over 500 students. The classes achieving the highest average number of steps in three age categories were awarded $5,000 in prize money for their school to use towards a health/wellness initiative. Winning classes included St. Columbkille School in Parma, Ohio, Miles Park School in Cleveland, Ohio and Holy Name High School in Parma Heights, Ohio. In total participants achieved over 100 million moves, and over 45,000 miles!
With only three in ten students getting the recommended amount of daily exercise, Fairview Hospital and the Community West Foundation teamed up to build a culture of health and wellness in local schools and encourage students to move more during school and at home. The mission of this contest was to make impact on reversing the obesity trend, decrease the occurrence of chronic disease, and encourage participating students to lead more productive lives.