In an effort to address the growing concern of childhood overweight and obesity, the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) launched a pilot program in 2007 called Kent Steps Up! Kent Steps Up! is designed to increase physical activity and encourage healthy behaviors through a fun, pedometer-based competition for 3rd and 4th graders.
Kent Steps Up! is a four-week competition that encourages kids to “step up” their physical activity and take at least 10,000 steps each day. The kids will use a pedometer, which is a step counter that counts each step made.
Why 10,000 steps? The U.S. Surgeon General recommends adults get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and kids should get about 1 hour. Walking 10,000 steps a day easily meets this requirement. The great benefit of the 10,000 steps-a-day program is that it creates a lifestyle of being active, instead of trying to ‘make time’ each day to get your 30 minutes of exercise in.
Each child who enrolls in the program will receive a free pedometer which will be theirs to keep at the end of the program. Each day, students will record their step totals on their activity log. At the end of the week, students will give their activity logs to their teacher for entry into a secure on-line database. T-shirts will be given to students who successfully complete the program.
There are five schools entered into the challenge:
These schools represent about 1,000 third and fourth graders ‘stepping’ up to the four-week challenge.
The program begins Monday, April 16th and runs through Friday, May 11th.
Every child is encouraged to get at least 10,000 steps daily, or the equivalent of walking or running five miles.
The new physical activity guideline calls for all children to get an hour of vigorous physical activity every day. Kent Steps Up! is a great way to help teachers and parents reinforce the habit of daily activity.
The goal of the program is for children to increase (or maintain) their physical activity in a fun way, helping them learn that activity is movement and the more the better, and it needs to be a lifelong activity.
There are many physical, mental and social benefits to daily physical activity for everyone! Won’t you ‘step’ up to the challenge…and get your 10,000 steps today?!