The Walk Across Tennessee competition was a virtual, micro-fitness challenge issued by Healthy Kingsport aimed at inspiring individuals to get moving in order to increase their physical activity minutes.The competition ran from August 1 – September 30, bringing 424 teams together—or 1,393 individuals—who collectively logged 214 million steps, or just over 107,000 miles.  The miles logged represent the equivalent of 4.3 trips around the Earth. Participants averaged 2,517 steps per day,burned over 9.5 million calories, and lost over 2,750 collective poundsSimply amazing!

Together, the top ten teams in theWalk Across Tennesseechallenge amassed33.1 million steps or 16,550 miles in 60 days.

  1. Eastman –Eastman IT & CSS 6M steps or 3,034 miles
  2. Eastman – AFMD Wellness Walkers3.9M steps or 1,968 miles
  3. Eastman – These Shoes Were Made for Walking 3.2M steps or 1,642 miles
  4. KHRA – Watkins’ Warriors3.2M steps or 1,601 miles
  5. Community team – Fitness Fun 3.1M steps or 1,555 miles
  6. TempurPedic – Information Technology3M steps or 1,544 miles
  7. Sullivan County Health Department – Dashing Divas 2.9M steps or 1,485 miles
  8. Community team – A Walk to Remember 2.7M steps or 1,353 miles
  9. Ballad Health – Mighty Morphin Power Walkers2.6M steps or 1,324 miles
  10. Ballad Health – MarshWalkers 2.5M steps or 1,253 miles

The Eastman team, AFMD Wellness Walkers, finished this challenge in an impressive 2ndplace, collectively logging over 1,960 miles. Kenny Carter, Michael Lovelace, Alice Carter, Wendy Green, and Charles Outlaw agree that logging their steps in a team challenge resulted in both an increase in overall physical activity and varied physical activities. 

 

Lovelace said, “I’m a competitive person and when I’m doing a challenge, I will exercise more to try and help my team place better in the challenge. I run, walk, ride bikes and lift weights. Doing the challenge helped me to work harder than I would on my own.” Carter added, “The challenge has made me mindful to not let other team members down. I set a goal of 7,500 steps a day but in reality, I was aiming for 10,000 to which I’ve been able to average that and more.”

Their employer, Eastman, has also been beneficial in assisting with their health journeys. “Becoming healthy and improving one’s health is a top priority in our organization. We are encouraged to become more active and to eat healthier. I changed my life style by going through the diabetes prevention program sponsored by the Greater Kingsport Family YMCA and paid for by my employer. This was a big help in making my lifestyle healthier and more active,” said Lovelace.

These micro-fitness challenges give folks the opportunity to test their commitment and competitiveness in meeting challenge goals.  Physical activity minutes—which are converted to steps then miles—are tracked, logged, and aggregated in Walker Tracker—an on-line, physical activity portal sponsored by Ballad Health and available free to everyone in our regionThese challenge miles have fed into our overall 2 Million Mile City goal, which was established by Healthy Kingsport to decrease our high physical inactivity rate, which is a contributor to our region’s twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Healthy Kingsport recently held its 4thannual Walk for Wellness Expo where approximately 2,500 people helped Kingsport celebrate its achievement of becoming the first 2 Million Mile City in America. Individuals and teams from Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia got moving to achieve their personal fitness goals and have it count toward our collective goal, which ultimately resulted in an astonishing 6.7 million miles of physical activity from November 2017 – October 2018—well surpassing our stretch goal of two million miles.

With the Walk Across Tennessee challenge concluded, Healthy Kingsport is busy capturing physical activity minutes from the current challenge, Rome to Paris.  Visit Healthy Kingsport’s website (healthykingsport.org) to register. Stay tuned – Healthy Kingsport is currently working with Ballad Health and its regional partners to set our challenge goal for 2019.

Allison Galloway is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator of Healthy Kingsport.  She can be reached at agalloway@healthykingsport.org.

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