Bluffing Buffer-Staff Writer
In the span of one year, Dordt College Student Health Services witnessed an increase from last year’s student FitBit usage to this year’s total amount. Students across campus are more focused on tracking daily steps and personal exercise goals, the small vibration and glowing dot count on their colored wrist bands hinting at the day’s activity level.
While Dordt athletes increase their step counts during team practices, other students feel Dordt’s campus and college setting are difficult places to achieve their step goals. A recent study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services may address another reason why Dordt students feel discouraged about using their FitBit.
In the government-financed FitBit study, researchers found a troubling relationship between active lifestyles and members of the Christian Reformed Church of North America. Interestingly enough, the same study found a positive relationship between active lifestyles and members of the United Pentecostal Church International.
“The study is concerning,” said Jonathan De Groot, Director of Worship Ministries and Worship Arts at Dordt College. “If we believe God is in every square inch of our lives, we must care about finding a way to change the study’s findings.”
The study reported some members of the Pentecostal Church reaching nearly 20,000 steps during a Sunday morning worship service. Consequently, members of the Christian Reformed Church reached, at best, 3,000 steps during an entire Sunday.
Already students on Dordt’s campus are taking the study seriously and striving to find ways to improve their step and FitBit records while remaining as members of the Christian Reformed Church.
“I simply decided to up my organ lessons to two times a week,” said Dordt College senior Marshall Fynaardt. The steps gained from using the foot pedals caused Fynaardt’s step count to sky rocket.
Dordt College senior Worship Arts major, Marta Vander Top, also stepped into action after reading the study. Last week, she talked with De Groot about how to make chapel and GIFT more active.
“We plan to introduce actions to all of our chapel songs,” she said. “Maybe something like the children’s ‘Father Abraham’ song, only a ‘college version.’”
Members of the Christian Reformed Church participate in a vast array of church music across the church denomination, contemporary to traditional. They stand up to greet those in the pews next to them, stand for each song and stand to exchange litany responses between the pastor and congregation. Yet amount the variety of steps, song and silence, church members’ step counts are few and far between during a morning service and even less prominent during an evening service.
De Groot and Vander Top plan to hold try-outs for chapel and GIFT “action demonstrator” positions at the end of April for the 2017-18 school year.
“This is not about a competition between Christian Reformed Church members and Pentecostal Church members,” De Groot said. “It is about encouraging active student lifestyles and eliminating any thought of a ‘Reformed Slump.’”
Editor’s Note: All Zircon articles are the Dordt Diamond’s semi-annual homage to the time-honored, First Amendment-protected, great American tradition of satire. The literal truths of these articles are not to be taken at face value, but we hope the hidden truths allude to the absurdities of some of the realities we face in society today.