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County employees get fit, bit by bit
73NA Screen shot 2015 06 30 at 3.12.38 PM

Sitting still is no longer an option for some Dawson County employees who are trying to improve both their level of wellness along with the numbers on their Fitbits.

A fitbit device is worn like a wrist watch, but it tracks physical activity such as the number of steps walked, according to the companys website.

"The county purchased the Fitbits direct from the company (Blue Cross/Blue Shied) and received a volume discount," County Manager Cindy Campbell said. "Internally, we set up standards for employees to achieve for a chance to receive a Fitbit activity tracking device.

In order to be eligible to receive the device, employees had to meet three criteria: be covered in the Dawson County medical policy, complete biometric screening and participate in the recently held wellness fair.

Approximately 95 employees met the qualifications.

Dawson County Sheriff's Deputy Randy Harkness caught the fitness craze.

"Bragging rights is what it's about," Harkness said. "It's a fun competition."

There are several ways to compete which include 'work week hustle', 'weekend warrior' and 'daily showdown' Harkness said. Users can set a personal goal and invite others to participate.

Harkness and other employees are making conscientious decisions about their daily activities. Some are choosing stairs over elevators, parking farther away from the building, and walking over driving short distances. Creativity is also part of the fun, according to Harkness, who knows now it takes him 56 steps to walk a lap around the pillars in the courthouse rotunda.

The goal of wearing Fitbit monitors is to encourage a healthier, more productive staff, Campbell said.

Dawson County Sheriff's Lt. Anne Martin set a high personal goal.

"I think it's a great program the county is doing and hopefully will help a lot of people," she said. "I would not have bought a fit bit on my own because it's too expensive." Martin has a personal daily goal of 10,000 steps and if not reached at work, she walks at home until she obtains it..