Federal employees are being challenged to get moving. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James launched the HealthierFeds Physical Activity Challenge, the first government-wide effort to encourage federal employees to exercise for better health.

The campaign, which is part of President George W. Bush’s HealthierUS initiative, will help motivate the federal workforce to make physical activity a daily habit.

“America needs to get healthier and federal employees need to set the pace,” Secretary Thompson said. “We’re spreading the message of prevention and we need to lead by example. I challenge everyone within the government to make physical activity a part of their daily lives. Encourage each other, compete against other offices, but most importantly have fun and get healthy.”

The goal for HealthierFeds participants is to meet daily physical activity goals of 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for six weeks. Participants can choose from a list of more than 100 activities and log their activity online in increments as small as five minutes. The HealthierFeds Physical Activity Challenge will use the President’s Challenge, a program of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

“We are also encouraging our employees to complement more activity with better diet. Exercise more, eat less,” Secretary Thompson said. “Active employees translate into higher morale, closer teamwork, increased productivity and lower health care costs.”