At the launch of the inaugural NYU Global Walking Contest in 2011, President John Sexton stated in his salutation that New York University is "a community of communities, and with the growth of our global network we are discovering new and exciting ways to connect." The third annual NYU Global Walking Challenge held in November-December 2013, the latest health initiative offered by NYU LiveSmart, provided another meaningful and collegial connection.
By the end of the third annual four-week contest, NYU faculty and employees at New York and Abu Dhabi collectively logged nearly 30,000 miles or 60 million steps – 10 million more steps than last year! To put this accomplishment in global perspective, if all participants began in New York and stepped to Abu Dhabi, then Abu Dhabi to Sydney, Sydney to Shanghai, Shanghai to New York, and finally New York to Ghana, the walking journey would span nearly 30,000 miles.
And now the results:
Congratulations, NYU Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi continues to hold the torch trophy!
If you participated in the Global Walking Challenge and wish to provide an anonymous comment for inclusion on LiveSmart webpages, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look for additional global health and wellness activities in the future. For more information about the programs and initiatives offered by LiveSmart, click here.
"This was a positive, collaborative and motivating challenge. It created a good talking point within the team and I really enjoyed being a part of it."
"How to wear the pedometer in NYC: click here for image."
"Thank you for coordinating this health challenge! My second pedometer broke during the last week and I finally gave up counting, but I walk to and from work daily and rarely ride the subway or bus, so I feel confident I’m doing as much walking as I can. Plus, this week the elevator in our apt building broke and may be out of service for months! We live on the 5th floor. We are getting plenty of exercise, especially my 4 yr old!"
"My two young sons (8 and 5yrs old) are my biggest cheer leaders. Which is why I wanted to ask you if there are any extra pedometers? If there is, can I please have two for them? They would be so excited to feel like a part of our team."
"I am giving up the stationary bicycle for the month (no steps counted there) and instead substituting other cardio activities. Also, as I try to take the stairs as much as possible but hating going up past the endless floors before the 2nd floor, I am taking the elevator only to the 2nd floor and walking from there and getting off the elevator two floors below the floor that I live on (confuses the neighbors a bit, though)."
"Our pup is also enjoying the walking program. She has benefitted greatly."
"I love the NYU Global Walking Contest! This program has pushed me to walk a little more each day, take the stairs and generally be more aware of my physical activity. I also appreciated the connection with our Global site and the collegial competition. That said, I hope we (NYU New York) walk away with the trophy!"
"I used to run one mile each morning, but due to the fact that I was participating in the global walking contest, I thought that I would push the envelope. I am now running three miles a day, feeling great and intend on bringing the trophy home to New York!"
"It is 6,842 miles from New York City to Abu Dhabi. That is roughly 14,368,200 steps. Collectively, we have walked back and forth both global sites, with extra steps to spare for sight-seeing! :-)"
"I am glad I signed up for this contest. I run 4 - 5 times a week but fail to cross-train, do warm-ups and cool-downs. For this contest, I get up earlier to walk a mile before and after a run. I walk to and from Port Authority to 721 Broadway to log in more steps. At lunch, I take the stairs instead of the elevator. The contest is definitely helping me train for a 15K race on December 17. I am running faster and longer on weekends."
"I've been trying to lose weight and get in shape without success for years. Exercising has always been a chore. I never knew how I was doing, or never saw the results as I've seen this past month. I have more energy and I feel lighter. I used to complain about my knees hurting, as I climbed up or walked down stairs/steps. I feel like a new younger person. I can now run up and down steps without feeling winded. Thank you for giving me the incentive to walk daily and keep in shape. I'm sorry the walk is coming to an end, but I will not stop walking. I've started recording my steps on Facebook :) When I began walking, my goal was to walk 10000 steps (5 miles) a day. Although it was hard in the beginning to reach that goal, I was very excited when I made it. My next goal is 10 miles. I almost made it yesterday; I walked 7.5 miles. It is hard to reach these goals away from the gym, but contantly moving when at home, work, or waiting for the train helps me towards accomplishing my goal. Thank you. A very satisfied walker :)"
"I took my walking to a whole other level in Europe. During our winter break, I went to Italy and France and walked 11-18.5 miles/day. I busted my walking goal wide open :)."
One of NYU’s greatest strengths is you, its extraordinarily dedicated staff, administrators, and faculty. Every day I am filled with pride at the quality and breadth of what we accomplish together – from counseling students on roommate problems or dissertation topics to creating new curricula or new global sites.
The risk of such great accomplishment, of course, is that we push ourselves too hard. That’s why terrific programs like the Global Walking Contest are so important – and uniquely NYU.
At NYU, we have never gathered at a football stadium or in a single campus center. Rather, we are a community of communities, and with the growth of our global network we are discovering new and exciting ways to connect. This new community that you have joined is one that unites us across continents in achieving balance, wellness, and vitality.
As we embark on the Global Walking Contest, let’s remember to take care of ourselves and of each other, and let’s enjoy creating a new and lasting NYU tradition.