Television is full of reality television shows focused on dramatic weight loss and questionable approaches to fitness. But at Oregon State University, a new competition is focusing on a holistic approach to health, utilizing the many resources available on campus.

Oregon State students, faculty and staff are gearing up for a 19-week health and wellness event called the "Power Up Challenge" that will promote healthy living in all its aspects, from nutrition to fitness, to sustainability, to financial responsibility.

There are as many reasons to focus on health as there are people on campus. Rachael Bergstad wants to run a marathon. Steve Geissler wants to lower his cholesterol without using medication. Teresa Hall wants to be able to work with her agility dogs after recovering from cancer. And during the Power Up Challenge, the campus will be able to watch as they work toward meeting their goals.

Two teams of challengers selected during fall term will publicly face off during a series of campus events during winter and spring terms, but all students, staff and faculty are invited to form their own teams or compete as individuals. They'll be able to keep track of their progress on-line, and compete to gather points as they work toward becoming healthier versions of themselves.

Dixon Recreation Center will host a Wellness Fair kickoff event for OSU's Power Up Challenge on Jan. 7 from 3 to 5 p.m. The public can meet "Power Up Challenge" contestants in Dixon's atrium and learn about the wealth of wellness resources and services available at OSU. One booth will offer a chance to win a free massage, but you have to guess which one.

The campus community will be able to follow the progress of the two selected teams via a blog at and can learn how to sign up and chart their own progress.

Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.


Kerry Evans, 541-737-4883,