University of Calgary

Faculty of Medicine gets moving with workplace pedometer challenge

UToday HomeJune 6, 2013

By Lynda Sea

More than 300 members of the Faculty of Medicine are walking the talk as they compete in an eight-week pedometer challenge now underway that’s encouraging staff, students, faculty and researchers to be more active and to live healthier lifestyles.

Walk Wholeheartedly is an employee-driven, active living pedometer challenge that runs from May 26 to July 20. A total of 39 teams of eight are facing off to collectively rack up their step counts and track their physical activities and workouts every week for bragging rights and prizes.

Everyone from lab staff and administrative professionals to grad students and even Dean of Medicine Jon Meddings has joined the challenge. The positive response around the friendly competition has surpassed organizers’ expectations. 

“I had been hoping for 200 participants at the outset so having more than 300 people wanting to take part is definitely good,” says organizing committee leader Carol Walsh, an administrative co-ordinator at the Faculty of Medicine. “It is already bringing people together.”

Sponsors of the workplace pedometer challenge include AUPE – Local 52, the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, and the Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with Staff Wellness.

On May 23, the challenge kicked off with a launch at the Foothills Campus with a huge turnout. Registrants picked up their starter kits and pedometers and even more passersby checked out the various information booths where a gait specialist was on hand as well as med students, who were doing free blood pressure readings. Many also posed for zany team photos in costumes and props at a photo booth. Raylene Reimer, associate professor in the Faculties of Kinesiology and Medicine, presented a talk at the launch and shared her findings on weight loss research. 

Walk Wholeheartedly is about motivating participants to increase their physical activity but it’s also offering more tools and resources for maintaining healthy lifestyles. Throughout the summer, invited speakers will offer free lunch ’n’ learn sessions on topics such as stress and yoga fitness. Weekly step booster challenges include guided walks and scavenger hunts to encourage individuals to set smaller manageable goals. The grand prize for the winning team is a plaque mounted Golden Shoe trophy while all participants are entered into a draw for a two-night stay at a Fairmont Resort, courtesy of UniGlobe Beacon Travel.

For more information on Walk Wholeheartedly, visit or email

How Active Are You?

<5,000 (steps per day) Sedentary
5,000-7,499 Low Activity
7,500-8,999 Somewhat Active
>10,000 Active
>12,000 Highly Active

Physical Activities Step Equivalents

Did you know that 15 minutes of these physical activities can up your step count for the day?

Dancing 2,500 steps
Yoga 1,100 steps
Freestyle swimming 2,800 steps
Soccer 3,200 steps
Golf (without cart) 1,700 steps
Bicycling (moderate) 3,600 steps


Follow UToday on Twitter.
Check the UToday website for news about events, people and trends at University of Calgary.
Follow what’s happening on campus using our interactive calendar.