The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Project outlines healthy habits

Project+outlines+healthy+habits

By Jamil Oakford/managing editor

Fort Worth partners with TCC for Blue Zone initiative

Health and longevity will come in shades of blue as TCC joins Fort Worth to promote the Blue Zone Project across its five campuses.

“Fort Worth has already been designated a Blue Zone Project,” human resources associate vice chancellor Ricardo Coronado said.

NE student Stephanie Bodenheimer and kickboxing instructor Victoria Babb move into the bow yoga pose after a kickboxing class. Part of the Blue Zone Project requires participants to move more throughout the day. Photo by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
NE student Stephanie Bodenheimer and kickboxing instructor Victoria Babb move into the bow yoga pose after a kickboxing class. Part of the Blue Zone Project requires participants to move more throughout the day.
Photo by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley was contacted by Mayor Betsy Price to help participate with the city.

The Blue Zone Project is an ideology based off of global research from author Dan Buettner, who focused on communities of people who lived the longest.

This project is based on nine principles. They include taking part in faith-based groups, surrounding oneself with people who support the participant and drinking a glass of wine with friends.

Once TCC administrators agreed to participate, they kicked off the project Aug. 25 at the chancellor’s breakfast.

Pledges were offered to faculty and staff that morning to suggest ideas to help incorporate the “Power 9” principles in their lives.

TCC is in the process of becoming Blue Zone-certified. The pledges are the first step to the healthier workplace, Coronado said.

“To be certified requires 25 percent of employees to sign the pledge,” he said. “We’re averaging 50 percent on most campuses, but South is the closest to the number.”

Coronado said 250 faculty members signed up that first day.

Some have been hesitant to sign the pledge. English instructor Stacey Said believes the issue is much bigger than healthier options on campus.

“I think initiatives can plant seeds,” she said. “But it’s really down to personal incentive that’s going to drive that change.”

Coronado said employees overall have been receptive to this project.

NE instructor Victoria Babb shows her kickboxing class the correct way to knee strike with her student Barbara Webber. Photos by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
NE instructor Victoria Babb shows her kickboxing class the correct way to knee strike with her student Barbara Webber.
Photos by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

“Anytime we talk about health, they [faculty] get excited,” he said.
“And because it’s not just TCC doing this, it’s more of a community effort than an isolated initiative, I think it helps motivate them.”

South Campus has a few ideas of how to accomplish one of the Power 9 principles.

“They were saying we might have blue parking spaces,” information center assistant Alyssa Petty said.

These blue parking spaces would move faculty parking slightly farther away from immediate buildings to encourage them to walk.

Another three Power 9 principles were voiced by NE student Kayla Ocampo when asked what she believed contributed to people living longer.

“I think exercising, eating right, having pets,” she said.

Part of the program encourages participants to eat until they’re 80 percent full, but also what Buettner refers to as the “pant slant,” where people put more fruits and vegetables on their plate.

The changes are coming to each TCC campus in hope of giving various options of a healthy lifestyle.

One of the unifying activities taking place districtwide is dubbed Moai walks. They will be on each campus and will serve as a social group that happens to take walks.

“NE will have their walks Friday morning,” Coronado said. “Some are doing it in the afternoon on Mondays. So these walks will be a social group but will have walking as well.”

Other activities the college has planned are cooking demonstrations in September and Purpose Workshops in November to help people find what inspires them. The community garden on South is also a part of this initiative.

Coronado is already accomplishing one of his tasks in the pledge by moving his laptop out of his room at night for better sleep. But he believes the benefits are endless.

“It impacts insurance costs, medical costs,” he said. “This could lead to being sick less.”

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