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October 7, 2013

Wallace State fair promotes healthy living    

HANCEVILLE — If anyone wanted to know how much they weighed, what their blood sugar level was or how to best sit at their computer to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, they could find the answers to those questions and more at the Healthy Living Fair held Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala.

The fair is a cooperative effort by several different programs at college, with each offering testing, information, games, treats and prizes to students, faculty and community members who attended.

Mary Leah Moss, director of the WSCC Wellness Center, said the day is a way to promote a healthy lifestyle and as a way to promote the programs offered at Wallace State. Along with tents filled with information, there were demonstrations of Zumba, yoga and CrossFit training. Among the most popular activities were the massages offered by the Massage Therapy program.

The programs that participated decorated their tents to go with the themes they established for the day. Moss said she was impressed with the creativity and effort the students put forth for their displays, from the breast cancer awareness tent that encouraged visitors to the tent be survivors, not statistics, to the Dental Hygiene program, which gave out toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant classes created an OTA Nerd Alert tent, focusing on the hazards of technology. Student Jenny Daily said that with the widespread use of technology in the form of computers, phones and tablets, that they felt it was important to educate others on how best to use those devices in ways that don’t cause the user pain.

“We set up a couple of computers at a table,” she said. “One was ergonomically correct and the other was not.” The point was to show the user how beneficial it is to raise the computer screen to a height that will prevent strain on the neck and shoulders.

There were also displays on texting, how to recognize the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome and other aspects related to using technology safely. “Since we were dealing with technology, we decided to dress like nerds,” said Daily, who like her classmates, was wearing black frame glasses with tape on the nose-piece and suspenders with her blue jeans and white T-shirt.

Daily said the tent they designed was not only a learning tool for those who stopped by, it was a learning tool for the OTA students.

“We did a lot of research,” she said of the students’ efforts with their tent. “So it was a learning opportunity for us, too.”

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