Tread the Med, the School of Medicine's walking initative for faculty and staff, kicked off Sept. 28 at Hudlin Park. Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, and James P. Crane, MD, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs, led about 1,200 people on a short walk to mark the beginning of the program.
Running through Jan. 5, 2012, Tread the Med has been a huge success, boasting 118 teams and more than 2,000 participants. The initiative is sponsored by the School of Medicine Wellness Council and is being managed by the Department of Human Resources.
“We launched this program because we want to help our employees get healthier and to encourage a healthy habit like walking,” says Gregg Evans, human resources consultant. “The program was designed so that everyone can participate, including walkers, runners and those with disabilities.”
The program’s motto is “Every Step Counts,” which includes every step someone takes throughout the day, not just on a scheduled walk. Walking your dog, going up stairs and walking to meetings across campus all count toward the total. Participants recorded their steps on a website either by number of steps, time or miles walked.
Participants have reported losing weight, reducing blood pressure medicine and being able to climb "a couple of flights of stairs" since beginning the program. More than 1.3 billions steps have been logged to date, with one person recording 3 million-plus steps!
"As an academic medical center, our mission is to improve the health of people, including our own employees," says Crane. "It is wonderful to see so many Washington University emplyees committed to improving their health and well-being."