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February may be known for celebrating your loved ones during Valentine’s Day, but it is also American Heart Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.

Moffitt Cancer Center is dedicated to contributing to the prevention and cure of cancer, and it begins with good health.

One key to combating heart disease and any disease is to engage in regular physical activity, as well as maintain a healthy diet and weight, manage stress and avoid smoking. 

To help patients and Moffitt team members improve their cardiovascular health through physical activity, the cancer center’s wellness committee has unveiled a wellness stairway.

There are so many great benefits to making a small change and routinely taking the stairs.
Dr. Kaaron Benson, Medical Director of Moffitt’s Blood Bank

Located on Moffitt’s Magnolia campus near the gift shop, the wellness stairway encompasses six floors of artwork and inspirational quotes to encourage patients and team members to take the extra steps by skipping the elevators and taking the stairs.

Dr. Kaaron Benson, medical director of Moffitt’s Blood Bank, shared the idea with the Wellness Committee.  “There are so many great benefits to making a small change and routinely taking the stairs. It reduces the risk of stroke, helps build and maintain muscles, joints, and healthy bones, and improves blood circulation,” said Benson.

Photo of artwork on display in Moffitt's wellness stairwell at the Magnolia Campus

Moffitt is hosting a scavenger hunt in the wellness stairwell through March 1 to encourage everyone to take more steps.

After months of planning and collaboration, the wellness stairway initiative is finally ready.

The official opening of the stairway was Feb. 17, and the committee launched a scavenger hunt encouraging everyone at the cancer center to not only get their steps in but also have fun. To compete in the scavenger hunt, participants must stop by the Wellness Committee’s table outside of the cafeteria, pick up a form and find all the hidden secrets in the stairway to win a prize: a gift card, a wellness basket or a gym bag filled with wellness items. The contest will end March 1.

Moffitt’s Wellness Committee hopes that even after the contest is over that everyone will see the benefits in taking time for physical activity and continue to include steps in each day.