Hello and welcome to Interactive Activity Ideas Week at Food and Health! This week, I'll be sharing some of our most popular health and nutrition activity ideas -- just for you. So, if you were looking to revitalize your playbook, engage your audience in new ways, or add a fresh take on nutrition education, now is your chance!
Activity Idea #1: How Many Steps?
Grab a couple of pedometers before your presentation and familiarize yourself with how they work.
Once your participants have arrived, brief them on how to use a pedometer. Have people guess the number of steps it would take to reach a few landmarks in the room or building. If you’ve got a whiteboard or chalkboard handy, you can write everyone’s guesses for the whole group to see.
Explain that now everyone is going to use some pedometers to track their steps as they explore the area. If you don’t have enough equipment for everyone to have an individual pedometer, divide the class into groups and give each group a pedometer.
After people have walked to the landmarks you set up, have them return to their seats. What did they notice? How easy was it to use the pedometers?
Ask the group about exercise. How can these tools be used to improve physical activity? Brainstorm together, and, if this is part of a recurring course, set up a competition or goal number of steps for people to reach with their pedometers.
Demonstrations make a new and complex-seeming piece of equipment much more approachable. The latest research continues to support the notion that pedometers can help people improve their health and manage their weight effectively, but if people don't know where to start with their pedometers, that little resource can be intimidating.
Exploring how to use a pedometer in groups also promotes understanding and engagement. Peer work is important and teamwork makes just about any activity more rewarding. Adding a contest or goal number of steps provides yet another layer of interest.
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.