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District 4 Health in LaGrange sponsors ‘FitBit Challenge’

District 4 Public Health employees have become FitBit enthusiasts and hope Troup County residents will join their ‘FitBit Challenge’ during the month of July. Shown in front of District 4 Public Health’s future location on Main Street with their FitBits are, from left, Amy Nixon, HR assistant; Dawn Walker, quality director; Nick Burke, IT director; Allie Crawford, accreditation assistant and social media coordinator; Beth Daniel, health promotion; and Alicia Watson, program associate.
District 4 Public Health employees have become FitBit enthusiasts and hope Troup County residents will join their ‘FitBit Challenge’ during the month of July. Shown in front of District 4 Public Health’s future location on Main Street with their FitBits are, from left, Amy Nixon, HR assistant; Dawn Walker, quality director; Nick Burke, IT director; Allie Crawford, accreditation assistant and social media coordinator; Beth Daniel, health promotion; and Alicia Watson, program associate.

For those who wear a FitBit – a wireless activity tracker that monitors the number of steps one takes, distance traveled, calories burned and even sleep cycles – the device alone often is the only motivation needed to increase daily physical activity.

But for the month of July, District 4 Public Health is offering FitBit enthusiasts even more incentive to step up their game.

District 4 Public Health is challenging Troup County residents to join its 50 employees in a “FitBit Challenge,” a month-long competition to see who can log the most steps taken between July 1 and July 31. The winner will receive a prize package worth about $300, which includes a FitBit the winner can give to a friend.

“Earlier this year the district received a grant so that we could purchase a FitBit for everyone in our office,” said Allie Crawford, accreditation assistant and social media coordinator of District 4 Public Health. “The premise behind it was that it would help us increase our own physical activity and become more aware of how little modifications to your routine can boost how active you are.

“In turn, we became engaged in friendly competition with our co-workers in who could take the most steps, and we became excited about the idea of a new way to motivate the community to get fit.”

And with that, the FitBit Challenge for Troup County was born.

The official counting begins at midnight Wednesday and ends 7 p.m. July 31. To be counted in the challenge, participants must register by July 10 at fitbit.com, search “Troup” and join “Troup County Challenge.”

During the challenge, participants can “like” the District 4 Public Health Facebook page and join the Troup County Challenge located under “events” to receive communication. However, “attending” the event page does not enter a person in the challenge; that must be done at fitbit.com.

The winner, who will be announced on Aug. 3, will receive a FitBit, a free one-month of membership to Towne Fitness Club, a Golden’s Bike Shop T-shirt, a “shop at home” gift certificate that can be used at most downtown restaurants and stores, and “a secret gift” that will only be known to the winner, Crawford said.

Joining District 4 Public Health in sponsoring the event are Towne Fitness Club, Golden’s Bike Shop, the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, West Georgia Health and more.

Crawford said the only rules are that the participants must either be employed by District 4 Public Health or live in Troup County, and that FitBits cannot be shared with anyone else to increase the number of steps that will be recorded at fitbit.com.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health and state health officer, said she is encouraged by the local office’s creative way of engaging the community in physical activity.

“It is no longer breaking news that obesity is an epidemic in America, as well as right here in Georgia,” she said. “One way to combat obesity is through physical activity and encouraging people to track their daily movement. Every step counts, and I commend Public Health District 4 and Troup County for implementing this innovative challenge.”

For more information, contact Crawford at allie.crawford@dph.ga.gov or 706-298-7733.