Heart and Sole

The Central Ohio Heart Walk takes place on August 20 at McFerson Commons in downtown Columbus.

A pair of Facilities Operations and Development leaders are coaching a team at this year’s event. Mark Conselyea and Kristin Poldemann, who lead team Heart and Sole, both walked in the event last year.

“A recent health and wellness survey told us that a number of our staff are not getting enough exercise, struggle with their weight and exhibit a number of factors that put them at risk for heart disease and stroke,” Conselyea said.

Results from the annual staff Physical Health Assessment surveys show that Ohio State’s Office of Administration and Planning (A&P) as a whole, the organization in which FOD resides, can improve health outcomes to reduce instances of diabetes, poor nutrition and tobacco use.

“There is good news in our survey for our partners in A&P: They have a lot of control over how they can transform their own health and improve their lives,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, FAAN, vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing. “Eighty percent of chronic disease is preventable with a few healthy lifestyle behavior changes.”

Melnyk added that setting realistic goals and making step changes toward accomplishing them is effective in helping to make key lifestyle behaviors sustainable.

“Our university-wide wellness team is ready to work with A&P to incorporate healthier eating and physical activity while decreasing tobacco use, just as it does with all of our units to ensure that there is a culture of wellness and support to promote health and well-being, both now and into the future,” she said.

Exercise and healthy eating can go a long way. That is one reason that Coco Kneisly, an FOD administrative manager, encourages her fellow A&P staff to walk.

“It’s a great way for you to stay active, do something fun with your friends and colleagues, all while supporting groundbreaking research that keeps hearts beating and helps people enjoy longer, healthier lives,” Kneisly said.

You can join FOD’s Heart and Sole team or donate online. You can contribute to a specific team member or make a general donation. The American Heart Association’s overall fundraising goal is $3 million. The money raised will support research to better prevent and treat heart disease among patients and groundbreaking pediatric heart and stroke research that is key to saving babies’ lives.