Health and Fitness Week returns to NIEHS
By Ian Thomas
May 4 marked the start of Health and Fitness Week at NIEHS, a fun-filled event held annually to promote exercise, nutrition, and wellness among institute employees and contractors.
Widely seen as an unofficial rite of spring, the 2015 schedule offered a full slate of favorites, such as the table tennis and 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, plus a handful of new events, including the Zumba Dance Party.
Something for everyone
“The goal of Health and Fitness Week has always been to show our employees how much fun it is to get out of the office and be active,” said VeeVee Shropshire, a member of the NIEHS Office of Management Health, Fitness, and Wellness Work/Life Balance Organizing Committee (see text box). “Coming into 2015, we wanted to create a balanced schedule that anyone could take part in, and I think we really succeeded in doing that.”
Another new event for 2015 was the Ping Pong How-to Clinic, led by NIEHS biologist Frank Chao, Ph.D., which kicked off the week.
“Frank took us through a quick rundown of the rules of ping pong then gave us our space to practice different types of serves and hits,” said NIEHS management analyst Claire Long, one of the coordinators of this year’s events. “It was a lot of fun, in addition to being a low-key, low-pressure introduction to a highly fast-paced game.”
As always, the 2-mile Nature Walk and Run ranked among the week’s most popular activities. Set to a backdrop of sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s, the event drew more than two dozen participants for a leisurely stroll around Discovery Lake.
“Honestly, with weather like this, who wouldn’t want to get out of the office for a quick run?” joked Kimberly Peterson, a longtime employee at NIEHS.
Health and Fitness Week takes place during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a national observance designated by presidential proclamation.
(Ian Thomas is a public affairs specialist in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)
2015 NIEHS Health, Fitness, and Wellness Work/Life Balance Organizing Committee
Deloris Anderson — Health and Safety Branch
Lindia Engram, R.N. — Health and Safety Branch
Jenn Evans — Administrative Services and Analysis Branch
Bill Fitzgerald — Health and Safety Branch
Jordan Harris — contractor
Chris Hunt — Health and Safety Branch
Claire Long — Administrative Services and Analysis Branch
VeeVee Shropshire — Health and Safety Branch
John Sutton — contractor