Graduate Students Help Ritchie County Get Active

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fairmont State University graduate students are conducting a research study about exercise called “Get Active Ritchie County.”  Working with Ritchie County residents ages 50 to 69, the program focuses on the benefits of exercising at home and is free for participants.

“Get Active Ritchie County” was developed through a partnership between the Ritchie County Family Resource Network (FRN) and Fairmont State University. The University received a grant through West Virginia Campus Compact. Over the past year, the FRN and FSU conducted a community health survey in the county. 

“According to the survey results, most people exercised three or fewer times per week.  Of those who did exercise, most exercised from the comfort of their home,” said Pam Ward, Ritchie County FRN Coordinator.

People enrolled in the study are expected to answer a health questionnaire and keep a physical activity log. Participants come to health screenings in Harrisville, W.Va. The screenings include having blood drawn, blood pressure checks, weigh-ins and exercise instruction. Results of the blood work, blood pressure checks and weigh-ins are shared with participants.

The program also offers a wellness coach who will work with people over the phone. The wellness coaches are FSU graduate students concentrating in Exercise Science, Fitness & Wellness. The students are enrolled in Dr. Amy Sidwell and Dr. Robin Yeager’s Wellness Programming course. These students include Ernest Samples, Courtney Kisamore, Meggan Walker, Jacob Rumer and Virginia Delawder. 

“This project gives students hands-on experience in conducting community wellness screenings and research,” Sidwell said. 

For more information, contact Dr. Amy Sidwell, Assistant Professor in the School of Education, Health and Human Performance, at