The Chicago Police Department is not only waging a war on crime -- it's also trying to fight the battle of the bulge. The city offered a $250 bonus to officers if they passed a voluntary fitness test in which they had to run one-and-a-half miles, press their body weight, do sit-ups, and demonstrate their flexibility. Of 13,600 officers, only 2,600 tookthe challenge. Of those, 2,400 passed. The bonus is part of a preventive measure to reduce health-care costs for diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. Despite the low turnout, Richard Daley, Chicago's mayor and a bicycling enthusiast, wants to allocate $2.5 million for the program next year and draw in 10,000 officers. SNEWS View: It's a sad state of affairs when police officers must be bribed to keep some level of fitness since it's that fitness that could in fact either save their lives while on the job or someone else's. It's another sad commentary that not more had the confidence in passing (and winning a pocketful of easy dough) to take the challenge.
Chicago fitness effort gains steam from industry participation
Fueled by the commitment of several fitness industry players, the Chicago WorksOut grassroots fitness initiative is working to bump Chicago up from the tail end of the "most unfit" cities list -- mostly recently organizing a "Chicago Moves Day" in May that attracted 500 people. ...read more