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BLOOMINGTON — About 500 McLean County residents lost 4,095 pounds and logged 2,701,390 minutes of activity during the first Live Healthy Central Illinois 100-day wellness challenge.

“Two tons of weight lost — that’s a good sign that people are getting back to good health,” said Ryan Whitehouse, government and public affairs director for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce. The chamber partnered with other Central Illinois chambers, the state chamber and Live Healthy America in the wellness challenge that ran from Jan. 20 through April 29.

Results were released Wednesday.

“Hopefully, this will be a starting point for individuals to improve their lives and the lives of their family members to improve the overall quality of life of McLean County,” Whitehouse said. Healthier employees are more productive and help to control health care costs, he said.

Teams of co-workers and friends — representing an array of businesses and organizations — used the Live Healthy website to access information and record minutes of physical activity or weight lost.

Kathryn Johnson of PATH (Providing Access To Help) lost the greatest percentage of weight of individuals participating. She lost 38 pounds, or 14.8 percent of her body weight, during the 100-day challenge, she said. Since October, when she joined a fitness center and began exercising while also cutting back on her food portion sizes, she has lost 75 pounds, or 25.8 percent of her body weight.

“This came at the right time for me and has helped me to continue doing what I was doing,” Johnson said.

“I didn’t do this to be competitive,” she said. “I did it to be a part of the PATH team and to help keep me on track.”

Among teams honored was the Weapons of Mass Reduction Team from OSF St. Joseph Medical Center’s admitting department, which averaged 161 hours and 38 minutes of activity per participant.

“One hundred days is a long-term thing so the challenge made you keep your interest up,” said team member Darlene Marquart-Hulsey, a St. Joseph registration clerk.

Whitehouse said the chamber will decide later whether it will co-sponsor another challenge.

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