Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Active U kicks off today; spouses/OQAs now eligible

Registration now is open for the seventh annual Active U program, the 12-week physical activity challenge open to all university faculty, staff, graduate students and retirees. Also, for the first time, spouses and Other Qualified Adults (OQA) can join.

Participants can sign up as part of a team or as an individual through Feb. 14 by going to www.MHealthy.umich.edu/activeu. Participants can thrack their progress from Feb. 14-May 7.

"Motivation and support are key to staying physically active and we know exercising with your partner can be a great support system to help you stick with your goals," says Jessica Sobolewski, MHealthy physical activity coordinator. "Taking a walk or jog, going to the gym or doing an exercise video at home is much more fun when you have someone there to encourage you. Now Active U participants can have support at work with their team and at home with their partner."

Last year, more than 12,000 people participated in Active U, logging more than 20 million physical-activity minutes.

In addition to spouses/OQAs being eligible to join, other new features include:

• A team now is defined as two or more people.

• Participants can now support a U-M school, college, fund or other area-of-choice by donating through U-M Giving.

• Participants can keep an online daily journal to record specific activities performed, possible barriers and daily accomplishments.

• New "success" guidelines for Active U — participants must be physically active at least 30 minutes per day, at least three days per week for a week to be considered successful.

"Active U's goal has always been to get people to move more, so we've updated our guidelines on what is considered a successful week in Active U," Sobolewski says. "As always, this program is for all fitness levels and participants can still get active 10 minutes at a time. However, they are encouraged to log a minimum of 30 minutes total per day for at least three days a week."

Popular program features returning in 2012 include:

• Ability to log activity minutes online or using a smartphone

• Prize drawings

• Blogging with other Active U participants

• T-shirt for successfully completing the program

To qualify to receive an Active U T-shirt, participants must log at least eight successful weeks (physically active at least 30 minutes per day, at least three days per week) in the tracker and answer the Active U post-program questions.