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Walk This Way, UK!

Have you ever seen signs on campus indicating how far it would take you to walk to a certain destination? These WalkUK prompts were established to encourage students, faculty, and staff to walk for transportation (walking to get from ‘Point A’ to ‘Point B’) as they go from class to class, run errands, attend meetings, find a place to eat, and do other activities on campus. Walking in general is a great way to obtain health benefits and to meet the daily and weekly requirements for physical activity (PA), and these signs hope to encourage people in increasing their PA to reap those benefits. However, in the U.S., less than one-third of adults walk for transportation, even though walking for transportation is linked with higher overall levels of PA (Paul et al., 2015; Wanner et al., 2012).

Recent research through focus groups at UK found that students would be interested in participating in Fitbit challenges to encourage them to walk more on campus. These types of challenges exist for faculty and staff, but typically do not include students. Students expressed their interest in different types of “swag” for walking incentives, such as long-sleeve t-shirts.

What do you think? Should walking on UK’s campus be incentivized for students? How? What kinds of prizes would you be interested in receiving? Let us know, we’d love to hear your opinion!

To provide feedback, contact me (Dr. McMullen, jennifer.e.mcmullen@nulluky.edu) and learn more about the WalkUK initiative.

References:

Paul, P., Carlson S., Carroll, D, Berrigan, D, & Fulton, J. (2015). Walking for transportation and leisure among U.S. adults – national health interview survey 2010. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 12(6).

Wanner, M., Gotschi, T., Martin-Diener, E., Kahlmeier S., & Martin B.W. (2012). Active transport, physical activity, and body weight in adults: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 5.

Dr. McMullen is a Lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. She teaches undergraduate courses in both Exercise Science and Health Promotion, including Tests and Measurements, Health Education in the Elementary School, and Introduction to Fitness.