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Healthy Incentives

The Memphis Healthy U Campaign boosting their efforts to a more fit student body

By Crystal Ferarri
On January 23, 2012

University of Memphis students are all in this together. At least that's what the new Memphis Healthy U Campaign screams.

The official campaign slogan says it all — it is an initiative to "move more, eat healthier and be tobacco free."

The campaign, which kicks off today in the University Center Atrium and River Room at 11:30 a.m., is a result of students' concerns that have been brought to the attention of the faculty senate, said Marian Levy, master of public health director.

"We found that so many departments and divisions were doing good things, but we needed a way to get the word out about all the resources The U of M community could access to reach their health and fitness goals," Levy said.

Tiger Dining will be implementing the Healthy U logo at all of their healthy food locations.

As a part of the initiative, The Loewenberg School of Nursing plans to take health measurements at various times throughout the year to monitor students' health improvements.

"This Nursing School and the Department of Communication will be collaborating to produce a series of spots to air on WUMR (radio) to reach the community with information on how to better communicate with your healthcare provider," Levy said.

In collaboration with the campaign initiative, the Tigers Feel Great Fitness Program is offering a free ten-week fitness lesson that will be personally designed to suit each participant's needs. The program includes group motivation sessions, basic nutrition education, private fitness assessments and free nutrition counseling.

At the completion of the fitness class, participants can fill out an evaluation in exchange for the chance to win a gift certificate for a personal trainer, swimming lessons or a massage at the Campus Recreation Intramural Services Center.

Last semester, officials said a campus-wide tobacco ban would also be part of the campaign.

Michelle Stockton, co-coordinator of the campaign, said a committee is working on creating the policy, but nothing is set in stone. Provost Ralph Faudree said Memphis Healthy U will encourage smokers to lead a healthier lifestyle.

"There will be a campaign to encourage people to be tobacco free. In terms of exactly how things are going to be structured — that hasn't been determined. There are legal issues there. That doesn't mean that there won't be a positive, proactive campaign encouraging people to be tobacco free," Faudree said.

The kick-off celebration today will last until 1 p.m. Students, faculty and staff can partake in free Zumba sessions and receive health and fitness resource information, in addition to taking a free pledge of commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Incentives for attending include a t-shirt giveaway in exchange for making a pledge and pedometers offered to students who get their blood pressure checked by nursing students.

"I'm hoping we'll end up with a huge fraction of pledges from our faculty, staff and students. One hundred percent would be nice," Faudree said.


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