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Pedometer contest urges employees to take that extra step
Photo caption: From left, Francisco Gutierrez, Ray Diaz, Irvin Azcarraga, Leo Basit and Barrington Barnswell celebrate their win in the Adventist Hinsdale Hospital Pedometer Contest. This is the second year in a row the team has averaged more steps a day than anyone else participating in the contest.

Hinsdale – Harris Longshaw was determined that this was his year to walk to the top of the pedometer mountain.

He was so confident of victory in this year’s Pedometer Contest at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital that he even named his team “The Upsetters,” setting his eyes on defeating last year’s champions, “The Defenders.”

“I pushed The Defenders,” Longshaw said. “I told them I was coming, so they got nervous. They tried to step up a little more.”

Puns aside, Longshaw may be right. Defenders team captain Barrington Barnswell said his team averaged about 17,000 steps a day in taking first place during last year’s Pedometer Contest. They managed to defend their crown this year, but only by logging a team average of 25,080 steps a day.

“When the first results came out, we saw that they were close to us,” Barnswell said. “We stepped it up. And when they saw we stepped it up, then they stepped it up, because they wanted to beat us. I think we drove each other.”

The Pedometer Contest is a wellness effort at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, a part of the CREATION Health program for employees, said Meghan Ellington, administrative assistant in pathology. Ellington administered this year’s contest.

“We really pushed it this year and it doubled in size from when we did it last year,” Ellington said. “We doubled the number of participants and the number of teams.”

The month-long contest saw people unite both with departmental co-workers as well as with people across the hospital, Ellington said. Teams could organize with as few as three people, or as many as 10. Rather than rank by total steps each team logged, the contest measured a team average.

“It’s a really healthy competition that people have going when they do this,” Ellington said. “It helps to really bring the staff together.”

Unfortunately for Longshaw, his team fell just shy of The Defenders, averaging 21,352 steps a day. In fact, the third place team, The Transporters, nearly snuck into second by averaging 21,039 steps a day.

Longshaw pushed hard to try to bring his team into first place, logging about 45,000 steps during his most active day of walking. As an environmental services supervisor at the hospital, he finds himself walking much of the day, often using the stairs rather than taking the elevators.

Granted, Barnswell’s team has much the same advantage. He works as a linen services technician, so walks all over the hospital for eight hours a day. Barnswell kept his team motivated by keeping their walking log updated daily, to know how they were doing in relation to the team’s goal.

“I think the contest is a good idea, and it’s healthy for you,” he said. “It keeps me constantly moving, and even on your day off, you’re moving around instead of relaxing and watching television.”

Though he fell short of first place, Longshaw is thinking about returning to challenge once again next year.

“And I’m still keeping my name, The Upsetters, just to upset those guys,” he laughed.


Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health,; (630) 856-2354.