Mount Students Take a Step in the Right Direction

Project Pedometer encourages a healthy lifestyle
September 17, 2012

Newburgh, NY -
Project Pedometer
(Left) Mount Saint Mary College nursing majors track their steps for Project Pedometer. Left to right, seniors Salvatore J. Cusa of Highland, NY; Alexa Sullivan of Mahopac, NY; Daniel Beers of Montgomery, NY; and Lisa Choe of Brooklyn, NY. (Right) This is an example of the pedometers that Mount students are using to record their physical activity.

How many steps can Mount Saint Mary College students take in three months?

Project Pedometer, a recently launched Mount program designed to increase awareness of physical activity, is giving nursing majors the opportunity to find out.

More than 100 volunteers are wearing pedometers for three months, recording their steps, and comparing notes. Students are also encouraged to track other information, such as eating and studying habits.

Their goal is 10,000 or more steps per person per day.

Project Pedometer is the brainchild of Jill Brennan-Cook, associate professor of nursing. She tracks the students’ activity via weekly forms.

Cook said that nursing majors are their patients’ future role models, and being familiar with their own activity level will help prepare students to promote a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s positive for everyone,” she said. “Students are coming up to me in the hall or emailing me and telling me how motivated they are.”

But it’s not just the students who are benefiting from Project Pedometer.

“Our nursing faculty has been commenting about how much more they are walking or trying to increase their activity levels,” said Cook.

Nursing major Alexa Sullivan of Mahopac, NY is excited to be a part of the program.

“It’s already made me more aware of how little I walk sometimes, because I’m always studying,” said the busy senior student. “Hopefully I can pick it up a little bit.”

The college’s food service provider, Sodexo, donated the pedometers. Caitlin Lazarski, of Sodexo Campus Services, said Sodexo employees at the college will also take part in Project Pedometer in the coming weeks.

At the Mount, 40 percent of freshmen aim for health professions. The college’s nationally accredited four year nursing degree program features state-of-the-art simulator labs, real-world clinical experience and community nursing, and an NCLEX pass rate that consistently outperforms the state average. Graduates work as registered nurses in hospitals in the Northeast and beyond.

The college’s RN to BSN program leverages experience in a blended online course with interactive modules and only one day per week in class.

The Mount also offers pre-med, pre-veterinary, and pre-physician’s assistant tracks, as well as physical therapy studies. The pre-PA concentration puts students on the path to obtain a PA license, which allows professionals to perform medical or surgical duties delegated to them by a physician.