Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

January 7, 2010


FitnessForLifeNew Year, New Race, New You Weight Race Begins

Losing weight usually tops the New Year’s resolution list of most people. The University’s Fitness for Life program would like to help. A Weight Race challenge will begin in January. The “Race” will be similar to past years’ challenges but with some notable differences and enhancements.

This year’s race will be supported once again by the School of Education’s Department of Health and Physical Activity. In addition, other University Departments will add support including the School of Nursing, Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, and the Department of Physical Therapy. UPMC Health Plan will support the University with its health coaches and nutritional counselors. The Staff Association Council will be working on the “crew” in support of the virtual food bank.

Changes in the Weight Race

The focus of the race will be “crossing the finish line.” Lessons have been learned from the past two weight races. One particular issue involves starting the race with the best of intentions but never completing the race. This is where the “Pitt Crew” can help. The “Pitt Crew” is a group of departments of campus, resources from our insurance carrier, and others who will encourage you to stay engaged throughout the race.

Key Dates

January 11 – 20     Registration Begins

January 21 – 22        Draft Days for Teams

January 25 – 29        Official Weigh-ins

January 30        Weight Race Begins

Key Points of the Weight Race

  • Faculty, staff, spouses, and domestic partners may participate
  • Participants may be enrolled to race individually or as part of a team of 3 to 5 members
  • Each campus will conduct separate races
  • Members may sign up for the Virtual Food Bank Challenge to assist local food banks

Helping Participants Stay in the Race

A few examples of support during the race include:

  • Participants will be encouraged to sign up with health coaches and nutritional counseling through UPMC Health Plan.
  • Professionals and graduate students from the Department of Physical Therapy will provide information on topics including proper exercise and lower back pain.
  • Life Solutions can assist members with lifestyle changes to help reduce stress and find the critical time to exercise.
  • The Department of Health and Physical Activity will send daily motivational messages with the support of other University Departments.
  • Three workshops will be held on the main campus by “Pitt Crew” Departments.
  • During certain initial weigh-in dates, “Pitt Crew” resources will be on-hand to meet with you on the main campus.

Length of Race is Ten Weeks

The weight race will be ten weeks. In past years the race was conducted over a 12-week period. The slightly shorter length will allow participants to focus on their short-term goal. With other planned events, members can continue with longer-term weight goals and better health.

Goals will be based on Body Mass Index (BMI)

Goals will be based on a participant’s height and weight, which are used to derive his or her BMI. Three categories will be used as indicated in the chart.

Body Mass Index (BMI)        Weight Loss Goal (lbs.)

BMI ≥ 25            10 lbs.

BMI ≥ 22-24.9            5 lbs.

BMI ≥ 18.6 – 21.9        Weight Maintenance

BMI ≤ 18.5            Should Not Participate

Administration will be Retained on Fitness for Life Web site

To ease administration, all information as well as input of weight information will be retained on a password protected Web site. Feedback from surveys indicated that this change would be desirable.

In early January more information will be sent internally to faculty and staff. Posters will be appearing on campuses and the Web site will be available with additional details.

H1N1 Vaccination Clinic Offered to Faculty and Staff

A clinic will be conducted for faculty and staff members interested in obtaining the H1N1 vaccination. The CDC guidelines have changed recently and the vaccine is now available to all age groups.

What:    H1N1 Vaccination Clinic (Faculty and Staff)

Where:    University Club Ballroom

Date:    January 14, 2010

Time:    1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This clinic will focus on providing the vaccine to faculty and staff. The University identification card should be presented at the time of the vaccination. The vaccination is free to faculty and staff members. Both the nasal spray form which is the live, attenuated version and the inactivated injectable form of the vaccine will be available.

To assist in the vaccination process, members may complete the proper consent form in advance. The consent forms and more information about H1N1 influenza are located on the University’s Web site at:

There are two different consent forms:

H1N1 Nasal Spray (Live, Attenuated) Influenza Vaccine

H1N1 Influenza (Inactivated) Vaccine

Important Vendor Contact Information

Benefits Department

Office Hours 8am-5pm EST

200B Craig Hall

(412) 624-8160-Main Line • (412) 624-3485-Fax

Please visit our Web site for FAQs, downloadable forms and other benefits information.


UPMC Health Plan

1-888-499-6885  •


United Concordia

1-877-215-3616   •


Davis Vision-1-800-999-5431  •



1-800-842-2776    •


1-800-523-1188    •

Flexible Spending Accts.





412-624-8070  •

Faculty Records


Leave a Reply