A-Z Index

Holiday Challenges

Body Composition Challenge

The "Maintain, Don’t Gain" challenge is back, but this year the focus will shift from weight to body composition. By shifting the focus, we hope to add an educational element to this challenge for employees.

What does this mean?

Muscle weighs more than fat and is metabolically active, burning calories even while we are at rest. While our Holiday Fitness Challenge will keep up motivated to move (including conversion of activities such as weight-lifting), some of us may be able to gain some muscle mass over the course of the 6 week holiday season! We will be using a scale and (noninvasive) bioelectrical impedance machine to quickly and easily measure each participant’s total weight, muscle weight, bone weight, and fat weight. The results provide us with the participant’s body fat percentage. Participants who gain weight in the form of muscle mass will likely see their body fat percentage decrease, even in their total body weight slightly increases.

In order to be considered successful in completing this challenge

The results will provide each participant’s body fat percentage, and employees who maintain, lose or do not gain more than 1 percent body fat between Nov. 20 and Jan. 12 will be entered into a prize drawing.

Data Collection Dates, Times, and Location

In collaboration with the Robert and Virginia Foster Fitness Center and Exercise is Medicine, participants’ body composition will be measured using a noninvasive bioelectrical impedance machine.

The initial participant data collection will be in the Anita Aldrich Human Performance Lab, located inside the Foster Fitness Center, at the following times:

  • Monday, Nov. 13, from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 15, from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 17, from noon to 1 p.m.

Data collection at the end of the challenge will take place the third week of January; dates and times will be announced later.

Your personal measurements will be held confidentially by Dr. Melissa Van Buren, Northwest’s employee wellness coordinator. Employees may also meet with Dr. Van Buren to review body composition results in greater depth, if interested.

Holiday Fitness Challenge (via MoveSpring)

As we come to the end of our “Fall into Fitness – Together” challenge, we are excited to announce a new MoveSpring holiday fitness challenge, “Holiday Island Odyssey Adventure.” The challenge begins Monday, Nov. 20, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 31.

The goal for each race participant is to complete approximately two miles per day, or the equivalent in converted activities, for six weeks, achieving a total goal of 84 miles. Participants who complete two miles per day or 14 miles per week will visit a new “island.” Each island adventure milestone provides mindfulness information, reminding us to be present in the moment and help us in our goal of achieving balance and overall wellness during the holidays. Participants who complete the challenge will be entered into a prize drawing.

Follow the instructions below to sign-up via the MoveSpring app.

Free MoveSpring App

We hope you will join the holiday fitness challenge using the free MoveSpring app.

Access the MoveSpring app by creating an account on or by downloading the iOS or Android app. 

  1. To join, visit: You will be prompted to the MoveSpring website or to download the mobile app.
  2. Follow the steps to create your MoveSpring account and connect a device. 
  3. Once your account is created, you will automatically be added to the challenge.

Already have a MoveSpring account? Log in to your MoveSpring account and click the blue "+Join" button in the middle right side of the screen. You will then see the "Holiday Island Odyssey Adventure" challenge as an option. Click "+" and then "Join."

Need help? 

Check out the MoveSpring Help Center, how-to videos or contact their support team. To contact MoveSpring Support in the mobile app, tap the menu bar at the top left corner of the dashboard and then tap the green message support button at the bottom of the utility panel. On the web, click the blue chat icon at the bottom right of the screen. You also may contact the MoveSpring support team at

Pick up your Summer Fitness Series T-Shirt/Tank Top

If you participated in the Summer Fitness Series or Bearcat 5K and signed up for a free t-shirt or tank top, visit Dr. Melissa Van Buren’s office in Administration Building Room 102 or the Office of Human Resources in Administration Room 105 to pick it up.

Looking for somewhere to work out?

Looking for somewhere to work out?

Membership to Hughes Fieldhouse and Foster Fitness Center are free for full-time employees and their spouses.

View Fall Hours

New to the Foster Fitness Center? Take a guided tour around the space and learn about the equipment.

Foster Fitness Tour


Workplace ergonomics: The science of designing workplace, keeping in mind the capabilities and limitations of the worker.

Goal: Reduce the stress and eliminate injuries associated with the overuse of certain muscles, poor posture and repetitive tasks.

Office Ergonomics 101:

  • Sit less and move more. (Sedentary behavior is correlated to a reduction in health, while sedentary behavior with poor posture is correlated to an increase in injuries and health issues).
  • Use proper posture
  • Reduce strain on joints

Key reference points in the study of ergonomics

  • Chair: Knees should be level with your hips. Find a chair with lumbar support or place a cushion between the curve of your lower back and the chair.
  • Feet: Use a foot stool if your feet do not touch the floor.
  • Posture: Your body should be centered in front of the keyboard and monitor. Sit straight, with thighs horizontal, at the same level as your hips.
  • Wrists: Use a wrist rest. While typing, hold hands and wrists above the wrist rest. Wrists should be straight, in a neutral position – not bent or up to the side while typing.
  • Monitor Height: Your monitor should be directly in front of you at arms-length (18-28 inches). The top of the screen should be slightly below eye-level.

Additional ergonomic recommendations

  • Take frequent breaks (every 20-40 minutes) for 3-5 minutes of movement
  • Periodically change work positions: Stretch, tilt your chair, perform basic chair exercises
  • Take 15 minute breaks every two hours
  • Health application:
    • Prolonged static posture inhibits blood flow; incorporate some stretching into your workday
    • Looking at a monitor for long periods of time without moving fatigues muscles of the neck and shoulders

We will continue to learn more about ergonomics in the coming months

Ergonomic Basics. Be a Better Bearcat Presentation, 2016. Presented by Dr. Rhonda Beemer, PhD, ATC