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Educator gets Richland County residents excited about Minutes in Motion

Dana Churchill, a health educator at Richland County Health Department, helped promote Gundersen Health System's Minutes in Motion physical activity challenge last year in Richland County. Dana raised awareness and helped motivate 150 participants and 20 teams to take part in the challenge for the first time.

Dana Churchill

As a former Community & Preventive Care Services intern of Gundersen Health System, Dana was aware of the Minutes in Motion challenge and understood how it worked. "It's a well-run, organized, and user-friendly challenge," says Dana. Minutes in Motion allows anyone, at any fitness level, to join and encourages them to be active for 30 minutes a day. Gundersen wellness education specialist and coordinator of Minutes in Motion, Linda Larson, adds, "One of the best parts about Minutes in Motion is that you can pick any activity that fits into your lifestyle, whether it is gardening, walking the dog, weightlifting, yoga or playing active Wii games. You are encouraged to move at your own pace."

When Richland County Public Health received a grant to promote healthier living, Dana knew Minutes in Motion would be a great way to encourage an active lifestyle. "It is a good way to get colleagues and families to motivate each other, be on a team and hold one another accountable."

To get other members of the community involved, Dana sent letters to surrounding schools, community partners, area health clubs and banks. A local radio station also helped to promote the physical activity challenge. In addition to the Gundersen prize drawings, Dana provided additional incentives for those who participated in Richland County. Everyone who participated got a water bottle and the opportunity to participate in drawings for T-shirts and other items.

Dana is looking forward to Minutes in Motion again this year, which starts on March 24, and hopes to surpass last year's participation. "I would like to reach out to the youth community and get more kids involved this year," says Dana.

To help you stay motivated along the way, the Minutes in Motion website, offers exercise tips, healthy recipes, a pedometer conversion chart, and all the information you need to know about Minutes in Motion. Register your team today!

For more information about wellness programs, call the Office of Population Health at (608) 775-4717 or email

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