Highmark, a health and wellness organization located in Pittsburgh, recently announced a collaboration with the Penn State fitness center, Nittany Fit, to encourage people in the area to have a healthier lifestyle. The program will reward participants for each effort taken to improve their fitness, nutrition, and mental and emotional well-being.
 
“We think that this is the best way to improve health, to have people every day thinking about their health and wellness, as opposed to only when they’re sick or only when they’re going for their routine physical,” says Deb Rice-Johnson, President of Highmark.
 
Each week features a different combination of challenges in which participants can earn prizes if they complete three challenges. For example, Nittany Fit’s most recent challenge included 50 pushups, one day of going meatless, and learning a new joke.
 
“Whenever you start engaging you might get a water bottle for completing your challenges, all the way up to you can win tickets to one of the games,” Rice-Johnson adds.
 
Upon winning a weekly prize, participants will be entered in a raffle for a chance of winning monthly grand prizes. “I would think we’ll probably look at how long people continue to be engaged, and as long as we can keep people involved, it’s something worth investing in,” Steve Massini, CEO of Penn State Health, says.
 
According Massini, the research and historical data will tell if people are actively engaging in their own healthy lifestyle. He says that the more they participate in the challenges, the less concern they will have over health down the road
 
The Nittany Fit program furthers Highmark’s commitment to the health and well-being of central Pennsylvanians. That commitment includes a joint $1 billion investment with Penn State Health to create a community-based network of primary, specialty, and acute care.
 
“Penn State Athletics is thrilled to partner with Penn State Health and Highmark on the Nittany Fit program,” says Scott Sidwell, Deputy Director of Athletics at Penn State. “Highmark is a tremendous sponsor of Penn State and our values are aligned in supporting health and wellness initiatives on our campuses and in our communities throughout the state of Pennsylvania.”

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