Dordt College News

Go for Fit

December 2, 2013

Go for Fit signs were all over campus  before the semester’s kick-off wellness event on September 14. Sidewalks were covered with brightly colored chalk invitations to join fellow students for an evening of fun and exercise.

Go for Fit was the first in a series of initiatives sponsored by Campus Health Services and student services staff. It turned out to be a great evening of fun for the more than 200 students who came to line dance, participate in a glow run, or play dodgeball. And the weather was perfect.

“Campus health programs on most campuses reach about 30 percent of students,” says Dordt’s Campus Health Director Beth Baas. “That leaves 70 percent to try to reach in another way.”

To address that 70 percent, Campus Health Services and Student Services set up SWAT—a student wellness activities team made up of staff and students—to promote wellness on campus.

Baas, from Campus Health, Sita Riblet from Student Services, and Erin Olson from social work were joined by students from majors related to health and wellness.

“The tie between physical and mental health is big,” Olson says. “As social workers we’re concerned about the whole person; good nutrition, fitness, sleep, and so much more are needed for optimal health.”

Drawing on the American College Health Association’s Healthy Campus 2020 project, the team began to explore what they could do on Dordt’s campus.

Last summer, students received a survey about their health interests. Within a few days, 450 surveys were returned, giving the team some specific suggestions to work with. They identified 10 areas to address, deciding to focus on physical fitness first. Next semester, they plan to focus on mental health.

“We’d love to see all students participate in a moderate activity for 30 minutes 5 times a week or vigorous activity for 20 minutes, three times a week,” says Baas.

As with the general population, that goal may hard to achieve. But the effort will be worthwhile if students begin developing good fitness habits.

Event Options

In addition to the evening kick-off event, Go for Fit offers students other fitness options:


Pictured: Library staff recently brought in a treadmill that allows students to walk as they read.

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