September 28, 2012

SIU Carbondale readies for “Burpee” challenge

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An event that kicks off at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this weekend will get people up and moving for better health and fitness.

Students, staff and faculty are welcome to participate in the "Burpee 70-Day Challenge." The goal is for participants to do one "burpee," commonly known as a squat thrust or body builder, on Saturday, Sept. 29. Participants then increase "burpees" by one each day for 70 days, so that when the 70th day arrives on Dec. 7, participants will be doing 70 per day. Participants who complete the challenge will receive a free T-shirt.

Surveys of college students indicate that stress, anxiety, depression and sleep difficulties are the key factors contributing to academic problems. Exercise relieves stress and anxiety, burns calories and helps people sleep better, said Dawn Null, wellness coordinator and registered dietitian with the Student Health Center. Student Health Services/SHS Wellness Center, the Student Recreation Center, University Housing, New Student Programs and Student Life and Intercultural Relations are sponsoring the challenge.

To sign up, log onto, sign up, and search for the SIU Student Recreation Center Group. Entry is free, and participation will utilize the honor system. For instructions on how to check in on Fitocracy, or for more information about joining the University's team, you can also go to .

Throughout the challenge period, the Student Recreation Center street team will pop up at random locations around campus to host "burpee" time. Organizers also encourage residence halls, RSOs, and other campus groups to get involved. And, for those who are physically unable to complete a burpee, the Student Health Center will help you find a challenging replacement movement within your scope of ability so you can participate in the challenge as well.

Plans call for a special all-day, "burpee fest" at the Student Recreation Center on Dec. 7, where people can drop by and do their 70 burpees all at once, or stop by twice and do 35 burpees each time. There will be a full-scale burpee celebration around 4:30 p.m., where participants can complete their set, grab their T-shirt, and celebrate their accomplishment.

For more information about the event, visit the Facebook page at or contact Null at 618/536-4441.