"We are doing a formal evaluation of the challenge but anecdotally, participants are telling us that the challenge did get them out walking and they had a good time competing," said Colleen Winter, health promotion administrator for the Department of Health. "We've also heard that at least one organization used the challenge as the first activity in its own worksite wellness program."
Winter said the department offered the challenge through its�www.healthySD. gov Web site to get people out walking and running. People enrolled on the site as individuals or as members of teams and then used the site to log their steps.�
A total of 110 teams and 529 individuals signed up for the challenge. The teams with the highest total number of steps were�Augustana�College,�Sioux Falls, with 11,729,082 steps; Avera St. Lukes Smart Movers,�Aberdeen, with 8,735,507; and Black Hills State University Young, Spearfish, with 6,001,711.
The teams with the highest average number of steps per member were DD50 and Company, Yankton, with an average of��691,463 steps; Ynot, Brookings, with an average of 545,565; and the Lag Time Steppers, Bison, with 496,360.
Individual winners were Maria Kramer,�Sioux Falls, 866,196 steps; Dede Long, Red Owl, 780,549; and Lynette Grieve,�Groton, 708,975.�
To make it easier for people to keep track of their steps, the department also distributed more than 1,000 pedometers on a first come first served basis to those that signed up.