The month of October is again being transformed into “Walktober” for 2015. Walking groups are being assembled to track activity, motivate each other, and support the goal of increasing physical activity among employees at Dalhousie. While a daily goal of 10,000 steps is agreed to provide health benefits, the overall goal of Walktober is participation and increasing current levels of physical activity.
This initiative is being coordinated with support from Human Resources and Dalplex, and coincides with October being National Healthy Workplace Month.
How does Walktober work?
The idea is to form teams of Dalhousie employees, organized by a champion or team leader, who will help each other to accumulate steps or other forms of physical activity during the month of October. Each team will have a group presence on the WalkaboutNS website, where individuals can enter their daily step counts or activity levels. Each week, participation prizes will be drawn at random for individuals who have accumulated days with physical activity. You can use the website to challenge other teams, or simply to help encourage members of your team to become more active. The website can even be used to challenge teams from other institutions who are participating in the WalkaboutNS project. There will be a celebration of our collective walking achievements at the end of Walktober where additional participation prizes will be awarded.
Want to create a team? Visit www.walkaboutns.ca, create your personal profile, then create a new team under the “Groups” tab, using “Dalhousie” at the beginning of your team name and “2015” at the end of the team name to help track institutional participation and distinguish it from last year’s teams, i.e. “Dalhousie 2015 Medicine Marchers.” We would be happy to help team leaders get started: HealthyDal@dal.ca. Teams can consist of any group of Dalhousie employees, whether they are already established walking buddies or work colleagues who wish to support each other. Please help spread the word to your colleagues to increase the number of people participating.
Want to join a team? Visit www.walkaboutns.ca, create your personal profile, then join an existing team.
How do you track activities?
There are many affordable – or free – tools that can help you monitor your activity:
– Decide what tools will help you monitor your activity:
o Pedometers – Dal employees may stop by the Dalplex customer service desk on or after October 1st and receive a free pedometer (while supplies last, one pedometer per person, please) or there are many models available for purchase in local stores or online.
o Mobile apps – Most smart phones (iPhones and Android) have pedometer options through the application centre. For Example, on the Apple App Store, there is great free pedometer app entitled “Pacer.”
– Not a walker? Convert other activities to steps on www.walkaboutns.ca. Under the “Walkabout Info,” you will find the “Resources” tab that has a section on step conversion, titled “Track Your Steps.” Here you will find activities listed with their step conversions.
Add to your step count each day from your profile page on www.walkaboutns.ca and watch your step total grow along with your team’s total. Setting a big goal for your group and watching your progress over time can be motivating, helping you achieve more than you thought you could. Typical goals include accumulating days with 10,000 or more steps, or collectively walking enough steps to reach Cape Breton or Vancouver!
Stay tuned for details of a closing celebration event at the end of October/
The www.walkaboutns.ca website has been designed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to provide a wealth of information on many topics, including (but not limited to):
– Suggested walking routes around campus
– Why 10,000 steps a day?
– Tips for sneaking in steps each day
– Devices to count steps or monitor activity levels