LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2011) — On Saturday, Sept. 17, in Commonwealth Stadium, the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville football teams will compete, but the winner of a previous UK-UofL competition has already been determined. The American Heart Association is recognizing employees from both schools for their participation in an effort aimed at bettering the heart health of all involved.
UK Health and Wellness has been using the American Heart Association’s free website www.startwalkingnow.org since 2009 for UK employees to track their exercise minutes and earn a prize. Health and Wellness has done several universitywide challenges, but for the first time, UK challenged another university and its employees.
UK challenged UofL to see who could average the highest number of walking steps taken by its employess during the 10-week period of April 6-June 15. The point of the challenge was for state university employees to lead the way in increasing exercise and physical activity across the state. UK had 276 employees participate, and UofL had 250 employees take part. It was a close call, but UK won the challenge with an average of 301,919 steps vs. UofL’s 263,798 steps.
UK Health and Wellness officials said this will be an annual challenge beginning every April and that it is hoped that more of the state's universities will compete next year. Plans call for a trophy to be engraved and passed along to the winner each year. Uof L President James Ramsey was actively involved there in supporting the challenge this past spring, as was former UK President Lee Todd.