Schools to join exercise campaign

Nov. 03, 2013 @ 04:50 PM

A new campaign by the Durham County Department of Public Health to encourage exercise is expected to get a major boost soon when the school system joins the effort.
Durham Public Schools plans a February launch to partner with health officials in the Health Department’s new website that lets residents log their exercise and see how Durham as a whole is doing.
As of Thursday, 212 people had registered for A Healthier Durham and lost 55 pounds during 206 hours of exercise. The campaign began Oct. 14.
“Registration has been a bit more sluggish than we’d like, but keep in mind that we’re only two weeks in, and word is still getting out about this exciting new initiative,” Gayle Harris, director of the Health Department, said. “Residents don’t have to wait for the new year to resolve to improve their health. We want them to start today.”
In February, the schools will formally partner with the Health Department campaign, potentially bringing in thousands of students, faculty and staff.
Kate Turner, wellness coordinator for Durham Public Schools, said schools will have exercise competitions, and results will be recorded on the website.
“People can log in how much water they drink, their hours of exercise and how many servings of fruit and vegetables they have,” she said.
Turner said the schools encourage exercise because students perform better when they’re fit.
“They feel better,” she said. “It’s hard for a human body to sit all day. We all need to be up and moving – whether it’s students, faculty or staff. This is a fun way to encourage more physical activity – and it’s free.”
Turner said students and others will sign up “in mass” in February. They’ll get kits to walk them through  the process.
With about 35,000 students and 5,500 faculty and staff in the system, that could mean a drastic uptick in participation.
“Durham is progressive, and it’s got a lot of great pieces in place for growing,” Turner said. “Knowing that the health department is behind this is fantastic.”


To sign up and for more information, visit