From children to adults, Georgians across the state are working toward a healthier lifestyle with the help of a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension fitness program called Walk Georgia. Since the program began in 2008, 20,000 participants have logged more than 2.2 million “virtual” miles of physical activity. The Walk Georgia spring 2011 session starts next month. Registration will be open from Feb. 20 to March 9. Participants can begin logging activity March 6. To register or learn more about the program, visit www.walkgeorgia.org, or call your local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.Students at Vickery Creek Elementary School in Cumming, Ga., have been anticipating the spring session since last fall, when teachers formed several teams and hung large colorful posters in the hallways to track their progress. According to school nurse Ann Moore, this sparked interest from more students to get involved this spring.The 8-week program is a free service designed to get Georgia residents moving by tracking physical activities. Participants virtually walk across the state and learn interesting facts about the counties as they log their activity online. Vickery Creek students “have been eager to learn historical facts about each county and have been sharing this information on the school’s morning news,” Moore said. Georgians can register individually or form teams of up to four members. By participating as a community, the program becomes more competitive as members of the team challenge each other to get fit. Anyone who has access to a computer can join. A wide range of activities, including aerobics, biking, swimming and even bowling, can be logged. The time spent exercising is translated into walked miles online as members work to travel across the state. The goal is to walk 15 miles per week. “The program has encouraged our children to establish healthier lifestyles and has given them the incentive to try to maintain these good habits,” Moore said.
continue reading » 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In a recent The Financial Brand article, Jeffry Pilcher, CEO, writes about Bank of America’s new “robo branch” concept. These unstaffed branches utilize an ATM and video conferencing within 1,000 to 1,500 square feet. Customers can set up meetings with staff remotely and then use the conference room when they arrive. A digital ambassador will be present at robo branch openings to make customers more comfortable with the new concept.This concept has been tried in the past. In the late 90s, our firm installed 10 automated branches in Washington at the airport and shopping centers for BofA. There was an ATM, two phones and two PCs. These branches where dismantled within a year due to lack of use.ATM use is a given, but the idea that customers will schedule appointments to talk with someone about high value services via video conferencing at a remote location is a stretch for most people.That said, there are some applications where the concept can work. Since the introduction of remote teller technologies, we have been promoting the potential for automated branches at appropriate opportunities. Here are a few: