Healthwatch 16: Healthy Steps at the Bloomsburg Fair

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- If you're enjoying time at the Bloomsburg Fair, there's a good chance being healthy isn't your top priority for the day.

But that doesn't have to be the case.

"We have a little wheel that kids can spin, do some physical activity, lunges, calf raises, march in place, just to get people moving," said Starr Haines.

Haines works for Geisinger Health System. She says, in addition to spinning the wheel for prizes, the hospital system is sponsoring free flu shots, blood pressure screenings, a breastfeeding room, and a diaper changing station at the fair.

They're also giving away digital fitness trackers, which will show fairgoers their heart rate, and how many steps they've taken for the day.

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Which brings us to Geisinger wellness associate Kristin Levan.

"They're probably doing a lot more walking than they realize," said Levan.

She points out this: many people come to the fair, say, by 11 a.m. and don't leave until dinnertime, hours later.

That, she says, is likely far more walking than they'd do in a normal day.

"Over a period of time, if you're here, especially if you're someone who comes daily, you're really going to get in those steps, that activity, which is really good," Levan said. "That way you're still getting in exercise while you're indulging in those treats you don't typically indulge in."

Levan says simple walking every day can help ward off chronic disease and improves your heart function, your overall health, and your mood.

Haines says those fitness trackers have already helped at least one fairgoer.

"I had a gentlemen come up to the booth and we compared how much we were walking, and he's like, 'I got 6,000 steps in so far today!'"

Geisinger is giving away those digital fitness trackers in drawings at the fair, about six per day. If you want to enter, you can stop by their booth in the arts and crafts building.

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