After a Long, Cold Winter, It’s Time to Get Moving


Last year, Dartmouth employees stepped up to the challenge—the “MOVE IT” challenge, that is.

During the physical activity challenge last spring, more than 1,600 participants logged nearly 800 million steps—more than 373,500 miles.

The 2015 MOVE IT challenge starts on April 6.


While the statistics are impressive, Director of Health Promotion and Wellness Melissa Miner says the success of last year’s program extends well beyond the number of steps logged. “There was a sense of community that the challenge supported and I hope that happens again,” she says.

That’s right, it’s time to get moving again.

Registration is open for this year’s eight-week MOVE IT challenge—designed to promote personal health and wellness, while at the same time supporting a healthier College community.

MOVE IT begins April 6 and runs through May 31. All Dartmouth employees are eligible to participate, as well as spouses of benefits-eligible employees.

The goal of the challenge is for each participant to log a minimum of 37,500 steps each week. Run, walk, bike, take a yoga class, swim—it all counts.

Ted Bush, the captain of last year’s winning team, did a wide range of activities—everything from tai chi to squash to lifting weights—to reach his MOVE IT goals. “Exercise rocks. Being fit rocks,” says Bush, a technical writer for the BioInformatics Research Computing group at the Geisel School of Medicine. “My wife and I love modeling fitness and a fit lifestyle for our son.”

Dartmouth employees do yoga on the Green during last year’s MOVE IT field day event. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Participants will once again receive a free pedometer to track their activity. Alternatively, they can opt to receive a $10 discount toward the purchase of an activity-tracking device at the Dartmouth Computer Store. Participants can choose to be a part of a team, log their steps individually, or participate as both an individual and as a team member.

Weekly drawings will be held throughout registration and during the challenge. At the end of the challenge, prizes will be awarded to the three teams and individuals with the most steps as well as to the three most-improved teams and individuals.

Susan Gagnon, an administrative assistant in the Department of Pathology at Geisel, helped her team win the most-improved prize last year. She had some advice for this year’s participants: “Move towards your goal at a moderate pace, and be sure to include a variety of activities so boredom doesn’t set in.”

To kick off this year’s challenge, campus leaders, Wellness at Dartmouth team members, and Big Green student-athletes will lead several walk/runs for the community. The Hanover campus walk/run takes place April 7 at 12:15 p.m.; a walk/run at Centerra will be held April 8 at 12:15 p.m., followed by an April 9 event at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, also at 12:15 p.m. For details, visit the Wellness at Dartmouth website.

Chrissy Pearson, MALS '11