all the rage.
There is a new electronic fashion accessory many Ho-Chunk Nation
employees seems to be wearing these days.
And they can't keep from looking at it over and over again.
It's not the latest iPod, tablet computer or smartphone, but
it demands just as much attention as those electronic items
although it's much simpler.
It's called a pedometer.
Employees are gauging their daily steps as part of the Ho-Chunk
Nation Health Department's "Every Step Counts" program. The number
of steps taken each day is recorded on pedometers and those numbers
are written into a log book.
"It's primarily a pilot project for physical activity for Ho-Chunk
Nation employees," said Ho-Chunk Nation Exercise Physiologist Kathleen
Clemons. "We're starting out small and see how it goes. Eventually
we want to involve the whole tribe."
The program began July 21 and will run for eight weeks. People
were able to sign up as individuals or as a three-person team. The
majority of people signed up on a team, Clemons said.
The total count of people signed up is 538 and are located in
all the Ho-Chunk areas in the state, including Black River Falls,
Wittenberg, Madison, Milwaukee, Nekoosa, Wisconsin Dells and Green
Participants were able to choose whether they wished to be placed
into a novice or advanced status. The goal for novices is 7,000
steps each day and the goal for advanced participants is 10,000
steps each day. The number of steps is the only measure of the program,
Besides walking or running, people may choose to use the tricycles
from the Ho-Chunk Health Department. They are available on a sign-up
basis and each lap on the fitness trail is equivalent to 2,000 steps,
"It's mostly a program to combat obesity and diabetes, and to
help people become more active," she said.
She's been seeing more people on the walking trail in Black
River Falls since the program started.
"It's a friendly competition," Clemons said. "Some people who
have a desk job find out how few steps they take during the day.
It's eye opening."
This is the first time the Health Department has conducted such
a large scale program on its own. Previously, they had a Minutes
in Motion program, but that was in conjunction with Gundersen Lutheran
The program will conclude on September 14, when individuals
and teams will be recognized for their efforts.