Health Promotion teaches Special Olympics athletes the importance of improving and maintaining enhanced wellness and self-care. These screenings use interactive educational tools and displays and demonstrations during their assessments in three key areas:
- Body Mass Index (BMI) based on height and weight
- Blood Pressure (BP)
- Bone Mineral Density (BMD)
This discipline uses a fun, interactive and engaging environment to show athletes that even small changes in their behavior can help them improve and maintain good health and sports performance.
Health Promotion events indicate a large percentage of Special Olympics athletes have limited knowledge of proper health practices and many suffer from potentially serious health issues.
Out of SONJ athletes screened:
- 91.7% of SONJ adult athletes have weaker bones than normal
- 75.9% of SONJ adult athletes are overweight or obese
- 44.8% of SONJ youth (less than 20 years of age) are overweight or obese
- 14.6% of SONJ adult athletes indicated they suffer from second hand smoke
Health Promotion events are offered at Summer Games. Education is provided to help athletes learn how small changes in their behavior can help them improve and maintain good health and sports performance. Medical referrals are given when appropriate.
Interested in volunteering for Health Promotion? SONJ is looking for registered nurses, professors of health sciences, registered dietitians, and students in public health, nutrition, and nursing to help athletes improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Criteria for Clinical Director
Please view the below document if you are interested in becoming a Health Promotion Clinical Director.
Current Clinical Directors: Gerri McKay, M. Ed, RD
If you are interested in becoming involved in our Health Promotion screening events, please contact our Healthy Communities Manager, Amelia Hamilton, ARH@SONJ.org.