Jumping for ‘Healthification’
Sisters of Mercy Health System, which has facilities in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas, is hosting an initiative designed to “encourage well-balanced, healthier lifestyles through nutrition, physical activity, emotional and spiritual wellness, and smoking cessation.” This initiative is called “Healthification.”
The Healthification initiative has reached “fever pitch” with the approach of National Employee Health and Fitness Day on Wednesday. A promotional video that features many Mercy co-workers has been released in an effort to gear people up for Wednesday’s jumping jacks challenge.
The jumping jack challenge will feature 38,000 co-workers across the four-state region attempting to perform a total of one million jumping jacks. This includes workers at St.Edward Mercy in Fort Smith, St. Joseph’s Mercy in Hot Springs and Mercy of Northwest Arkansas in Rogers, said Laura Keep, Mercy spokesperson.
“The idea behind the Mercy Million is not only to get people moving but also remind us that exercise can be fun, especially when we do it together,” said Vik Khanna, Mercy’s executive director of health and wellness. “We chose jumping jacks because most Americans learn them as a child. They can also be modified so anyone with limited mobility can still participate. Just think, fitness legend Jack LaLanne did jumping jacks for years and lived to be 96.”
While some co-workers may perform their jumping jacks in private, others will jump in unison in Mercy cafeterias, parking lots, conference centers or lobbies. At St. Edward Mercy co-workers will congregate in the hospital cafeteria between noon and 1pm on May 18. So far, Fort Smith co-workers have pledged to do a combined 60,000 jumping jacks next Wednesday.
St. Edward Mercy is asking some local schools to get in on the act as well. Students at Union Christian Academy and Immaculate Conception elementary school have also pledged to join the Mercy million. Students will be doing 150 jumping jacks each during a special assembly led by St. Edward Mercy co-workers who are trying to reach their pledge number.
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