Environmental Factor, June 2008, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Sweating, Groaning and Learning During Health and Fitness Week
By Eddy Ball
When the magnolias start to blossom in Central North Carolina, it's a sure sign that the annual NIEHS Health and Fitness week isn't far away. Like the rising sap in the deciduous trees on campus, the energy level of NIEHS employees and contractors takes a leap forward as the more sedentary winter and early spring months come to a close. Each year the NIEHS Office of Management Health and Fitness Organizing Committee promotes a full schedule of opportunities for fun and self-improvement that offers something for virtually everyone.
This year's Health and Fitness Week, May 19 - 23, was no exception as the days were filled with challenges to lose extra weight, get involved in the Fitness Room and other exercise venues on campus, and compete against friends and colleagues. The sports contests include competitions in basketball, football, cycling (see related Inside story), golf, the "Rogathon" 5K Run and 2 Mile Nature Walk, and table tennis.
Although the week began with unseasonably cool temperatures, by the time the more rigorous mid-week competitions began in earnest, athletes were perspiring as they tackled the Rogathon and the 3 on 3 Basketball Round Robin. Throughout the week, table tennis players could be heard grunting as they scored - or missed - their precious points and Frank Chao and Jianjun Gao battled their way to win the tournament. With seminars promoting healthy lifestyles and weight loss, free chair massages and a Wii Interactive Fitness demonstration and activity, participants also had a chance to learn new ways to foster their physical and emotional health and well-being.