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Healthy Hornet Challenge in third year of tradition

Healthy Hornet  Challenge in third year of tradition

Jennifer Pendarvis

Shannon Thomas, junior health promotion major, leads Hannah Carlson, junior education major, through the TriFIT assessment as a part the Healthy Hornet Challenge. The assessment covers health tests such as blood pressure, strength, flexibility and cardio health.

Many students at Emporia State greatly enjoy their ability to use the Student Recreation Center at the college.

However, during the colder months, even with the gym as close as it is, many of those students lose the desire to continue working out. To counteract this understandable lag in fitness, the Student Recreation Center put together a program to encourage exercise.

“It all came about a few years ago when there were a few groups on campus that were feeling like it was important for us to focus on some health issues you know with the trends of our country and the increased awareness of health,” said Mike Wise, director of Recreation Services.

The Healthy Hornet program is in its third year of existence, and has received glowing reviews from the staff who used the program. Healthy Hornet allows staff to work towards a point based goal that will allow them to offset their health insurance.

The reason this works is because the insurance provider for the college, Health Quest, had a system designed to encourage employees to stay healthy.

“(Health Quest) started a program a couple of years ago where if you do certain things throughout the course of the year and gain a certain amount of points, as a state employee, you can gain a $480 reduction on your health premium… so we worked very closely with Health Quest… with this program to where if they perform a certain way… they can gain points toward their insurance reduction,” Wise said.

The program helps the staff member earn five points toward the Health Quest discount, but it does not give the full discount.

Students also benefit from participation in the program because they will have the chance to win various prizes, such as water bottles, T-shirts and a Fitbit.

“We’re going to have a celebration on the Thursday of the last week of the Healthy Hornet where we’ll bring everybody together, and we’ll recognize everybody at that time,” Wise said.

Many users of the program proselytize the effectiveness of the program freely.

“Here’s the great thing about the (Student) Rec Center is that it there are student employees and student trainers that are trained to help people your age, my age, and different genders, and different body shapes, and different abilities and all that,” said June Coleman, director of Career Services. “So that the staff is trained to work with all kind of abilities.”

According to the Healthy Hornet website, the program can be done on an individual basis, or in groups up to four. The team can consist of “all students, staff, faculty or combined.” Registration has already closed for the event.

In order to receive points, participants must fill out and submit weekly score forms. These score sheets record many different kinds of data for the program, such as aerobic exercise, eating a certain amount of fruit at lunch time and emotional wellness. In addition, Healthy Hornet special events are also available so participants can gain extra points.

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