Health, one step at a time

Charlotte Etherton/Photo Editor

Northern Kentucky University is going to have a lot of fit undergraduates if NKU Wellness and the President’s Climate Commitment Task Force’s latest program, the Big Green Climb, works.

NKU has added decals to the elevator doors in the Lucas Administrative Center, the old University Center and every academic building on campus. These decals encourage students to ‘Take the stairs, burn calories and save the environment.’ NKU Wellness and the President’s Climate Commitment Task Force worked together to support the decals.

‘This is a six-week challenge which encourages participants to take the stairs instead of the elevators to burn calories and save the earth,’ said Maggie Gough, student wellness manager.

‘The Big Green Climb is part of the university’s continuing efforts to promote not only health and wellness, but also environmental responsibility,’ said Chris Cole, director of communications for NKU.

Students will notice two decals posted on the aforementioned elevators on campus.’ One decal is supposed to increase awareness of the campaign.’ The other decal is more permanent, and is to remain on the elevator after the campaign has ended. There are also plans to develop signs to guide students toward stairways.

‘The goal of the stickers is to remind people to consider using the stairs to encourage energy savings and physical activity,’ Gough said.

‘The campaign is geared toward encouraging the use of stairs,’ Cole said. ‘The primary alternative to stairs on campus is elevators. Thus, it made sense to post the message on elevator doors.’ ‘

‘I take the stairs when the elevators are too slow, but the truth is when you’re a full-time student and all your classes are in one day, carrying a backpack filled with books, notebooks and a laptop up the stairs is not very helpful to my body as it causes back trouble,’ senior Stephanie Rodriguez said. ‘So if I feel like taking an elevator so I don’t have to walk up five flights of stairs with 30 pounds on my back, then that is my perogative.’ ‘ ‘

Several offices on campus participated in the design of the Big Green Climb program. ‘We all realize what a tremendous benefit we can gain, personally and as a community,’ Gough said. ‘

NKU Wellness, along with NKU Green, collaborated to create a campaign that would reach many NKU students and came up with the idea of the decals. Throughout the brainstorming phase, NKU Wellness conferred with the Office of Disability Services.

‘To be sensitive to those who are physically unable to take the stairs,’ Gough said. ‘With their guidance, we also incorporated a sponsorship program within the challenge so that those who are physically unable to take the stairs can still participate in the challenge.’