Frog Leg Pedometer challenges faculty and staff to improve health

The Frog Leg Pedometer Challenge, which began Monday, will provide a way to improve the overall health of TCU faculty and staff in a competitive and fun manner, Susan Oakley, a human resources manager, said.

Employees use pedometers to track how many steps they take each day, and log their results on the Employee Self Service website to win prizes, Oakley said.

Prizes have not yet been announced, but will be awarded weekly beginning March 7. Grand prizes will be awarded shortly after the challenge ends March 13, Oakley said.

Participants must complete a minimum of 60,000 steps per week to be eligible for the weekly prizes, she said.

Last year’s grand prizes consisted of Nintendo Wii game systems from drawings, Oakley said.

“Its fun to see faculty and staff out walking,” Oakley said. “If you watch over the lunch hour in the next few weeks, you will see a lot of faculty and staff out walking.”

Steve Kintigh, director of campus recreation said the challenge began when former fitness director Trey Morrison came up with the idea five years earlier.

“He took it and he ran with it,” Kintigh said. “He made it a huge event.”

Kintigh said the challenge can get very competitive.

“At one point the winning person was walking 20 miles each way to work,” Kintigh said.

The University Recreation Center initially oversaw the competition, but the human resources department took over the challenge two years ago when funding for the pedometers became an issue.

“In the first year, we bought pedometers for everybody. We had 1,200 participants,” Kintigh said.

The pedometers cost around $5 each, Kintigh said.

This year, human resources will split the cost of pedometers with the recreation center, Kintigh said.

“We decided to adjust the challenge a little bit and that’s when human resources decided to pick it up, and I think that’s been a great thing, Kintigh said. “We simply couldn’t sustain the budget at that level.”

Kintigh also said in comparison to other schools TCU has high numbers of participants, because the university provides the pedometers.

This year, the anticipated number of participants is about 500, Kintigh said.