September 8, 2015
Thousands of university faculty, staff and students will soon start tracking their time being active — walking, doing yoga, swimming, going to the gym, playing a sport — determined to reach their weekly exercise goal in Active U Autumn.
Registration is now open for MHealthy's annual fall physical activity challenge and charity fundraiser. U-M retirees and employee spouses or other qualified adults (OQAs) also can join. Participants can choose to sign up as an individual, join a team, or create their own team by inviting colleagues and friends to register.
Active U Autumn uses team camaraderie, peer motivation and online tracking to encourage participants to be active at least three days a week and work toward achieving their personal exercise goal each week.
Last year, more than 7,600 participants logged more than 6.3 million minutes in six weeks. This year, with two major program updates, MHealthy expects to surpass these numbers. The program is now:
• Fitbit compatible — Participants can now sync their Fitbit to the online tracker.
• Two weeks longer — Active U Autumn is now eight weeks (Sept. 22 – Nov. 16) instead of six.
"With so many of us using wearable technology to monitor our daily activity, we wanted to make syncing an option for this year's Active U Autumn program," says Colleen Greene, MHealthy senior wellness coordinator. "We know people would rather spend their time being active, not tracking their minutes. Now, if you use a Fitbit, syncing your device to the tracker allows for seamless participation. Your steps will automatically be converted into minutes."
Through a partnership with Computer Showcase, Active U Autumn participants who want to purchase a Fitbit can get a 10 percent discount by using discount code FALL10ACTU.
Other program highlights include:
• Charity donation — Make an optional small donation through the program to support charities chosen by participants.
• Convenient ways to log — Participants can still use a computer or mobile device to track their exercise. They can also input their time via text message.
• Prizes — Chances to win prizes by logging minutes or sharing photos on social media.
If extra motivation to sign up is needed, Active U Autumn is one of several health and wellness programs offered this fall that qualify for the MHealthy Grand Prize Drawing. Benefits-eligible faculty and staff and their spouses or OQAs who are enrolled in a U-M health plan can enter for a chance to win $500 to support their healthy behaviors. Six will win.