During the 2009-2010 school year, Healthy Chatham’s Team FIT Obesity Prevention Task Force collaborated with Bennett School. Team FIT has been collaborating with Chatham County Schools for healthy change for the past 3 years.
The main focus of the Team FIT and Bennett School collaboration was to help school staff make healthier decisions about eating and encourage them to exercise more. Twenty-five staff members participated in a challenge to log the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week and eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
The school’s guidance counselor as well as staff from the Chatham County Public Health Department led fitness classes after school for Bennett staff. Team FIT members sent tips and reminders via e-mail throughout the challenge. As part of the challenge, staff members were awarded prizes for meeting goals for diet and activity.
From mid-January through the end of May, 25 staff members logged over 34,000 minutes of exercise. Staff also reported eating more fruits and vegetables because of their participation in the program.
Of the challenge, one staff member told us, “Team FIT helped motivate me. I lost 27 lbs and feel great!” Many staff members reported that the encouragement and motivation from teammates and other staff members was a big part of their personal success in eating better and moving more.
The benefits of the program extended beyond fitness and weight loss- by exercising together and sharing a common goal, one staff member told us she thought the program helped to strengthen bonds of friendship between some of the participating staff.
Congratulations, Bennett School, for making great strides toward wellness. Keep up the good work!