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Community News

January 12, 2011

Extension Small Steps challenge to start Sunday

The Cooperative Extension system is launching an online Small Steps to Health and Wealth Challenge called "Winter 2011 SSHW Challenge."

The free six-week program, open to anyone who enrolls online, will be held from Sunday through Feb. 26.

Prizes will be awarded for participants who report the highest point totals.

To sign up for the SSHW Challenge, follow the "Challenges" link on the Small Steps to Health and Wealth website at Set up a user name and password and download a one-page user's guide with instructions about how to proceed. Enroll in the challenge titled "Winter 2011 SSHW Challenge."

The SSHW Challenge is part of Small Steps to Health and Wealth, a national Cooperative Extension program developed to motivate Americans to take action to simultaneously improve their health and personal finances.

SSHW was built around a framework of 25 research-based behavior change strategies.

The challenge was originally developed in a "paper and pencil" format with printed worksheets and is now available online.

According to a media release from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, it has been well-documented that when people monitor their behavior and measure their how they're doing, they are often inspired to do better and achieve positive results.

The SSHW Challenge is based on the performance of 10 recommended practices on a daily basis: five that involve health and nutrition and five that involve financial management.

Ten points are given for performing each one for a maximum of 700 points per week and 4,200 points for the entire challenge.

The five daily health and nutrition practices are: eat at least four cups of fruits and vegetables; get at least 30 minutes of exercise; drink water or unsweetened beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages; walk 10,000 or more steps with a pedometer; and learn something new about health and nutrition.

The five daily financial management practices included in the SSHW Challenge are: save a $1 bill (or more) and/or pocket change; invest $5 or more per day (including automated retirement savings plan deposits); track money spent throughout the day; eat lunch prepared at home; and learn something new about personal finance.

New this year, Winter 2011 SSHW Challenge participants will have an opportunity to replace one daily health activity and one daily personal finance activity with unique daily personal challenges of their own.

To learn more about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County's community programs and events, call 865-6531 or visit

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