G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA staff know how to get their steps in. More than 160 employees laced up their walking shoes and “walked” their way to Indonesia during a four-week Step into Whole Health challenge.

During the challenge – held from May 1 to May 31 – the staff collectively walked an impressive 23,319,191 steps, the equivalent of more than 11,000 miles, according to challenge organizer Shawana Jones.

“Walking is an amazing way to improve your health, manage stress and incorporate self-care into the workday,” said Jones. “Throughout the month, staff were encouraged to get active and compete to see who would finish the month with the most steps taken. Our next goal is to continue the step challenge and walk around the globe.”

Walked five million more miles than competitors

While staff exceeded their step goal, they collectively walked nearly five million more steps than the competing facilities.

How they walked to Indonesia

Chart shows number of steps from Jackson, Mississippi, to Jakarta

Staff Psychologist and Whole Health Champion Dr. Ashley King-Profit said research shows that exercise is important and can improve overall health and wellness. Walking is a cost-effective and simple way for staff and Veterans to move their body.

Walking Veterans are choosing to live Whole Health 

“Walking also allows Veterans the opportunity to set a Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Timed (SMART) goal and make small efforts to accomplish the goal,” said King-Profit. “Walking can also help enhance other areas of the Circle of Health, such as allowing Veterans a chance to experience and enjoy natural surroundings and build relationships with family, friends and coworkers if walking with others. When Veterans choose to take a step, they are choosing to live Whole Health.”

The G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center is comprised of the medical center and the Columbus, Greenville, Hattiesburg, Kosciusko, McComb, Meridian, and Natchez community-based outpatient clinics. Headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, we provide a variety of medical outpatient services to more than 54,000 Veterans and other eligible beneficiaries across central Mississippi.

By Camille S. Weston is a public affairs officer at the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center

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Published on Jun. 25, 2022

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