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Environmental Factor, June 2014

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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.)

Mike Resnick, Ph.D.

Mike Resnick, Ph.D., head of the Chromosome Stability Group, celebrated another successful run in the 5K. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Wei Qu, Ph.D.

Wei Qu, Ph.D., of the NTP Inorganic Toxicology Group, joined Li in another hard-fought match. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Linda Yu

Linda Yu, biologist in the NIEHS Molecular Pathogenesis Group, showed off her moves at the international dance party. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

VeeVee Shropshire, Stephanie Bullock-Allen and Lindia Engram

From left, VeeVee Shropshire, Stephanie Bullock-Allen, and Lindia Engram recorded times and welcomed runners over the line at the Rogathon. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Greg Webb

Greg Webb completed a long-range jump shot for the point. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Jianying Li

Contract scientist Jianying Li took aim in one of several table tennis events throughout the week. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

5k Rogathon

This year’s Rogathon runners took off on the 5K, as the whistle blew. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Tucker and Davis

Tucker, left, and Davis both turned in field-leading finishes. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Dance party

This year’s international dance party proved to be a hit with NIEHS employees. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Mark Hambric, Greg Webb and Quentin Archie

From left, Greg Webb, Quentin Archie, and Mark Hambric of the Comparative Medicine Branch, completed a masterful comeback to win the 3-on-3 basketball round robin. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

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