CU Healthier Challenge pushed participants in many ways

The CU Healthier–Healthy Workplace Challenge top winners were recognized at a ceremony held on campus in May. From left to right: Irene Emery, Glendy Wong and Andrea Lawrance. (Kristi Wells Photo)

Glendy Wong had some health concerns – including a thyroid condition and a possibility of developing Type 2 Diabetes which runs in her family.

But now Wong has a clean bill of health from the doctor – thanks to the CU Healthier–Healthy Workplace Challenge.

“It’s satisfying to be recognized for the commitment I put in,” says Wong, who works in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs and was one of the challenge’s winners. “It’s been three long months.”

Wong, with 20 other Carleton staff and faculty members, took part in the challenge that wrapped up in May.

As part of the challenge, participants were divided into five teams and worked at improving their health and lifestyles. Throughout the challenge, participants blogged about their experiences and earned points along the way.

Jennifer Warren, a healthy workplace champion who developed the idea, wanted to bring something to campus that would make people healthier.

“We were blown away. There was more interest than spaces available,” Warren says.

She feels the participants did so well thanks to the challenge’s built-in peer support which encouraged them along the way.

“We’re fortunate to work in an environment where we have peer support,” Warren added.

Ed Kane, chair of the Healthy Workplace Committee, says he feels the challenge was so successful across campus because it appealed to a wide range of people in the Carleton community.

“People were encouraged to read the blogs, attend events and show support,” Kane says. “It was a great success and we became the cheerleaders.”

He was also impressed with the participants’ levels of commitment.

Wong was so committed to the challenge that while she was on a recent conference in Las Vegas, she went to the gym and made healthy food choices.

“I learned I’m mentally strong. I can focus,” Wong says. “My willpower is there.”

Andrea Lawrance, a research facilitator in the Faculty of Science who’s new to Carleton, also participated in the event and was one of the winners.

She says the challenge helped her meet people across campus and she had fun doing it.

“I truly feel this challenge changed my life,” Lawrance says. “The last few years have been challenging personally, and combined with a recent move between provinces and a new job, I was certainly not making the healthiest lifestyle choices. The incentive and tools of the challenge really helped me get back on track.”




This entry was written by Kristy Strauss and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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