Fun and fitness abound during 2014 NIEHS Health and Fitness Week
By Ian Thomas
May 5 marked the beginning of NIEHS Health and Fitness Week, a fun-filled, five-day event held annually to promote exercise, nutrition, and all-around healthy living among Institute employees and contractors (see sidebar).
Widely considered by many at NIEHS as an unofficial rite of spring, this year’s event brought with it the full slate of classic activities, such as the table tennis and 3-on-3 basketball, as well as a number of new ones, including Ultimate Frisbee and mental fitness Sudoku.
“Our goal each year is to provide fun, enticing, and health-related activities that promote functional lifestyles among everyone at NIEHS,” said Stephanie Bullock-Allen, contract program manager in the NIEHS fitness center, who noted the link between overall wellness and workplace productivity.
As always, the 2-mile nature walk and the Rogathon — a 5K run named for NIEHS epidemiologist Walter Rogan, M.D. — proved the biggest draw among participants. “I've been running this race off and on since 2000, and I always enjoy it,” said Jeff Tucker, biomedical engineer with the NIEHS Calcium Regulation Group (CRG) and first male runner across the finish line with a time of 21:05.
“I usually just run at the gym before work, so I wasn’t sure how I’d do on the road with hills,” said Felicity Davis, Ph.D., visiting fellow in CRG and the first female runner over the line at 25:03. “I had a lot of fun, though, and I’m glad I did it. Everyone did an amazing job organizing this event,” she said.
Health and Fitness Week takes place during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, an observance designated by presidential proclamation. The fun-filled week is organized and coordinated by members of the NIEHS Office of Management, Health and Safety Branch, and Administrative Services and Analysis Branch.
(Ian Thomas is a public affairs specialist in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)