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Well Devils challenge freshmen to pursue healthy lives

Students workout late at the Tempe campus SRC in attempt to stay fit for the upcoming year. The Freshman Challenge was launched by Well Devils to help freshman make a healthy transition into the college lifestyle. (Photo by Ana Ramirez)
Students workout late at the Tempe campus SRC in attempt to stay fit for the upcoming year. The Freshman Challenge was launched by Well Devils to help freshman make a healthy transition into the college lifestyle. (Photo by Ana Ramirez)

Students workout late at the Tempe campus SRC in attempt to stay fit for the upcoming year. The Freshman Challenge was launched by Well Devils to help freshman make a healthy transition into the college lifestyle. (Photo by Ana Ramirez)

ASU’s new Well Devils Freshman Challenge aims to combat the infamous “freshman 15.”

The Well Devils Initiative teamed up with the Mayo Clinic for the first time this year to conduct research on university-wide health and encourage students to think about how to live healthier lifestyles.

The Well Devils Freshman Challenge launched Sept. 6.

ASU Wellness Director Karen Moses said the challenge is part of a bigger initiative to make ASU one of the healthiest universities in the nation.

Students from the four campuses established the Well Devil Council last year to promote healthy minds, bodies and communities, Moses said.

“The aim of the initiative is to influence student success beyond graduation,” she said. “A healthy lifestyle positions students to reach their academic, personal and professional potential.”

To participate, students have to go to a Well Devil Zone on campus to record their weight, height and student ID number.

Well Devil Zones can be found in residence halls and some athletic facilities.

For research purposes, weights will be taken on digital scales and automatically recorded. No one, including the student, will be able to see these measurements during the first few weeks.

Measurements will be available to students later in the challenge.

So far, about 10 percent of campus freshmen have signed up to participate in the challenge, said Deborah Williams, associate director of obesity solutions.

Freshmen who “weigh in” by Wednesday will receive a free T-shirt and be entered into a raffle to win $50 to spend at the ASU Bookstore.

Well Devil Council member Amy Christman said she did not have an easy transition into college.

Christman, a nutrition junior, said she gained a lot of weight her freshman year at UA.

“I did go to the gym but nutritional value was never explained to me so I kept eating very poorly,” she said.

Christman said she thinks education provided by the Freshman Challenge could really make a difference in students’ lives not just now, but in the future.

Counseling psychology Ph.D. student David Messer serves as the Well Devil director.

Messer said in an email that the initiative is an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in health and wellness or college administration to get hands-on experience.

He said the Well Devil Council is always looking for more volunteers.

 

Reach the reporter at hblawren@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @hannah_lawr


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