UALR Step It Up Challenge promotes campus fitness

A group gathers outside the Student Services Center as Chancellor Joel Anderson speaks in front of them.

More than 200 University of Arkansas at Little Rock employees stepped up to accept a new challenge to promote employee fitness on campus.

The “Step It Up Challenge” kicked off April 4 in front of Student Services Center, as a large crowd gathered to hear Chancellor Joel Anderson greet the participants.

“I wish every one of you a success,” Anderson said. “The good thing about it is, this is one of those competitions where when it’s over, everybody has won, so what’s not good about that?”

Karl Lenser, employee wellness coordinator, thanked everyone for joining and encouraged them to spread the word of wellness and fitness to their co-workers.

He expressed surprise with the number of teams that registered for the challenge. While hoping for at least 15 teams to sign up, Lenser did not expect a total of 40 teams to participate.

“This is an incredible response to our first major wellness program on the UALR campus,” said Lenser.

As attendees gathered their team T-shirts, Lenser encouraged the participants to wear the shirts during their walks around campus to further advertise the program.

Karl Lenser address the crowd.“Perhaps your co-workers will become a bit envious when they see you wearing the T-shirt as you continue to find ways to add to your step and mileage count,” he said. “I would love to see more individuals jump on the fitness bandwagon and improve their overall health and wellness.”

The team-based program is based on mileage accumulated by walking, jogging, swimming, group exercise classes, cycling and elliptical machine workouts, and daily activities. Each team has five employees. Team captains send weekly mileage updates to Lenser.

The challenge will end May 8 with two winning teams receiving a $50 VISA gift card or a Garmin Vivofit fitness band.

“You guys are all winners because you’re participating, and that’s really important,” said Lenser.

For any questions on current fitness programs or help with a smoking cessation program, nutritional advice, or weight loss concerns, contact Karl Lenser at kjlenser@ualr.edu or 907-8974.

A group shot of the attendees in front of the Donaghey Student Center.

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