‘Get Fit’ on the right track

In general, they’re a bunch of upbeat people who see the importance of physical fitness and the impact good health can have on a community. Get Fit folks tend to be the active sort who set goals, figure out ways to meet those goals, and then achieve those goals. In other words, they get things done. In this case, their mission is pretty simple: “Improve the quality of life of the residents and visitors of Kauai County by working to promote opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy foods.”

Its goal is pretty straightforward, too: Reduce the burden of disease; Increase the quality and years of healthy life and reduce health disparities. And Kauai, with endless opportunities for hiking, biking, swimming and running, with all its natural beauty, is a place you want to be healthy.

And before you start worrying that the county is footing the bill for Get Fit, it is funded by the State of Hawaii Department of Health’s Healthy Hawaii Initiative through a contract with the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Office of Public Health Studies, John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Judging from results of Get Fit Kauai’s Worksite Wellness Challenge announced Friday, it is bringing about change. But challenges remain. Consider these sobering statistics:

– Over half of Kauai adults are overweight or obese

– 1 in 10 have been diagnosed with diabetes

– 60 percent participate in 150 minutes of physical activity per week (recommended amount of aerobic activity)

– Almost one quarter of adults do no physical activity in an average week

– About 80 percent do not eat enough fruits and vegetables each day

– 20 percent drink one or more sodas or sugar-sweetened beverages each day

Those might be discouraging statistics for some, but not Get Fit Kauai. Bad habits can be broken. Get Fit is not after short-term changes. It is after long-lasting benefits. It is on the right track. Through a continued message that focuses on physical activity and healthy diet, making both attractive and available to Kauai residents, and being creative, it will be successful. It is making inroads in homes, in schools and in the workplace. Its message that “Sitting is the new smoking,” is cute, catchy and we hope, effective.

We congratulate the Kauai Marriott Resort for placing first in Get Fit Kauai’s Worksite Wellness Challenge 2014, and say well done to companies that participated in this program. Your efforts are changing lifestyles for the better.


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