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Release Date: 04.13.2012 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Atlanta Falcons and Polar Provide High-Tech Boost to Governor's Health Challenge

Donations Part of Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation Campaign to Provide Activity Monitors to 1,000 Area Youth

Borrowing from the kind of high-tech training tools the Atlanta Falcons use to elevate performance on the field, the Atlanta Falcons and Polar are supplying activity monitors to Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal and more than 40 members of Governor Nathan Deal’s staff participating in a ten-week Health Challenge.

Governor Deal initiated the challenge last week to stir up a friendly competition among staff to tune up, firm up and, if needed, take off any extra pounds accumulated during the legislative session.

Worn as wristwatches, the Polar Active devices function as activity monitors and provide real-time feedback on the number of minutes users spend in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. An animated figure on the watch face mimics the behavior of the user – sitting, walking or running according to the user’s movements. A graphic displays the amount of activity logged against the daily target of 60 minutes.

"The Polar Active devices provide a cold, hard reality check for folks who believe they are pretty active but wonder why they’re not dropping any pounds," said Brian Robinson, Governor Deal’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. "You may be able to fool yourself, but you can’t fool the activity monitor. The feedback motivates people to record more minutes."

Robinson confirms that the Governor’s staff has organized a softball team, and some have signed up for half-marathons.

"And there's just ubiquitous talk about our diets," he said. "People are dead serious about cutting out fattening foods."

When the Health Challenge wraps in June, the Polar Active devices will be awarded to The Arthur M. Blank Family Youth YMCA for kids to use in the Y’s summer program.

Teaming up with Polar, which supplies the Atlanta Falcons football club with sophisticated heart-rate monitors and advanced smart coaching tools, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) is donating 1,000 Polar Active monitors to area youth through partnerships with the Blank YMCA, Atlanta Track Club, Moving in the Spirit, The First Tee of Atlanta and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The donations are part of the AFYF's ongoing work to improve youth fitness in Georgia.

In the Governor’s Health Challenge, staff have committed to either a weight-loss goal – with a target of reducing body weight by 3-5% – or a cardio goal, in which staff will focus on nutrition and complete a one-mile run in less than 12 minutes.

"We thank Governor Deal for taking a hands-on approach to promoting fitness and challenging every Georgian to spend at least 60 minutes of in some kind of physical activity, whether it’s walking, running, dancing or gardening," said Penelope McPhee, president of The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. "It’s a great time for families to get outdoors and take advantage of Georgia’s 48 state parks. It’s good for the mind and the body."

About the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation:
Investing across Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation helps nonprofit organizations reduce childhood obesity and improve youth fitness. The foundation was established in 1985 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta Falcons. Since Arthur Blank acquired the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, the foundation has grown to be the largest owner-funded foundation in the National Football League, providing more than $17 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Georgia.

Contact Info

Contact Name: John Bare

Company: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Phone: 404.367.2062