In a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 20 at the State House, Rep. Neal Collins shared his mission to make the State House a healthier place to govern. Collins was surrounded by colleagues, the South Carolina Hospitals Association, as well as other partners in the effort, when he announced A Healthier State House and encouraged lawmakers and staff to sign up and participate. More than 100 state lawmakers have signed up for the challenge and will use the Fitbit Wellness platform to help reach their health and fitness goals during this year’s session.
SCHA Vice President for Community Engagement Rozalynn Goodwin was surprised and excited last month when Rep. Collins told her he had already recruited 75 policy makers for the campaign. Just weeks before, it had been just an idea Goodwin shared casually at a meeting in which Collins was present.
“The idea was just one of several things I and other guests discussed during the SC Institute of Medicine and Public Health Fellows panel discussion on combatting obesity,” Goodwin explains. “Rep. Collins, who was in the audience, sent a tweet to confirm his participation. I had no idea he would immediately begin to recruit his colleagues to join him.
“This would never have taken off so quickly if he hadn’t stepped up to champion the idea,” she added. “And we appreciate the enthusiastic support of our partners to make this effort possible.”
“We want to set an example for all South Carolinians. Healthier food choices and more physical activity can prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases that rob South Carolinians of a quality life and cost all of us a lot of money,” Collins said. "As part of the challenge, more than 100 of South Carolina’s state lawmakers will be taking steps towards better health with the help of Fitbit. Fitbit’s track record with organizations of any size to create effective wellness programs made choosing its platform the obvious choice. Using their activity tracker Fitbit One, along with the software and services provided by Fitbit Wellness, we’ll be able to engage in some healthy competition, encourage each others' progress, and stay active as a community.”
For more information and a list of current participants, click here.