Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

Statewide Initiatives

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Own Your Own Health Physical Activity and
Nutriton Challenge

Own Your Own Health (OYOH) is an physical activity and nutrition tracking program designed to help people in racial and ethnic communities combat obesity and its related chronic illnesses by taking small but effective steps to eat right and exercise daily. OYOH encourages people of diverse populations in Louisiana to develop healthy activity and eating habits. Participants can earn points by achieving milestones in accumulated activity; losing weight through a healthy, appropriate diet and physical activity; and by increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption.

They will be able to track their daily/weekly exercise activities-from jogging and swimming to walking and mowing the lawn- online by entering these into their profile. The online tool automatically converts activities into "steps," which is how the program is measured. The site also features specific information that encourages healthy eating and physical activity.  With just a few clicks, participants can easily track their daily fruit, vegetable and water intake, body mass index and weight loss progress; print healthy recipes; and send motivational e-cards; the online tool allows individuals and groups to create walking routes using Google Maps that log their distances and number of steps. These routes could be in nearby parks, on trails, around the participant's office or in his/her neighborhood.  OYOH has its own built-in evaluation component that shells out data through its on-line wellness coach to inform participants if the program is benefitting them or not.

Own Your Own Health allows anyone seeking a lifestyle change to create a public or private challenge(s) free of charge! Just choose your challenge(s) below and send us an e-mail at  or call the Bureau of Minority Health Access: 225-342-4886 or 1-866-562-9015 outside of Baton Rouge and our Living Well staff will create a tailor-made challenge just the way you like it.

Own Your Own Health system makes physical activity fun, with physical activity and healthy eating challenges designed around different themes. Although each challenge is aimed at specific racial and ethnic groups, participants are welcome to choose any challenge. Pick the one that will be most interesting to your community, so they will be motivated to stick with it and keep going. These challenges are interactive, so they will be able to track their progress online and see how everyone else is doing. Participants will be able to take a challenge alone or with a team.

How It Works

Participants are encouraged to form groups of 2-10 people or they can participate as individual participants. Group and Individual participants can choose from one of the two challenges:

  •  Steps Challenge
  • Weight Loss Challenge

Captains will be selected for each group, and his/her responsibility is to: 

  • Motivate and encourage group members
  • Keep members updated regarding changes in the program when necessary
  • Disseminate motivational materials, share weekly nutrition and activity to members
  • Collect confidential team information such as the individual and team weight totals

Own Your Own Health groups may include mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, grandparents, in-laws, cousins and nieces and nephews. Organizers will assist captains in forming community groups, boards and clubs offering a challenge to one another-to walk the most miles, lose the most pounds, eat the most fruits and vegetables.  Recruiting groups in faith-based communities could make announcements at the beginning of the service or put information in the bulletin or newsletter.  Soliciting groups among the deaconesses, missionary committees or adult fellowship groups, the church staff vs. the choir would be an excellent way to motivate the congregation. Reaching out to other faith communities to form a friendly competition would garner support among the masses. There will be worksite groups, groups for seniors with competition between meals sites and/or senior centers in various communities.

Once groups are established, group captains must go online to the Bureau of Minority Health Access website and click on the Own Your Own Health link to register their groups.  Captains will register first and must complete a profile that consists of:

  • Establish Username
  • Choose Challenge(s) groups participate in  
  • Contact information
  • Height and weight for calculating BMI

Once captains have registered and created their groups, group members must sign upindividually and complete the same profile as their captains. Then, members must click on the "Join Team" link, search for their group, click on it and all their information will be automatically transferred to their group name account.  When all members are registered, everyone will have their own personalized page with a Dashboard.  It will be located on the bottom of the welcome page once users have logged into the site.

The user dashboard is a place for users to perform a variety of functions including:

  • Track Steps/activity
  • View rankings
  • Update weight and view your ideal weight range
  • View today's calories
  • View BMI
  • View progress of all the groups and much more

Groups that registered for the Steps Challenge must go the OYOH site and enter totals as often as they like. On the dashboard participants can enter their step totals in the automatic Activity Tracker. If using a pedometer, team members at the end of the day can enter those totals into the automated Activity Tracker, and the system will automatically convert their steps into miles. Team members that do not have pedometers can choose the Activity drop down menu and choose from 120 different activities.  Participants can choose an activity on the menu and enter the number of minutes it took to complete the activity and the system will automatically convert the minutes and activity into steps and miles.  Groups that take part in the Weight Loss potion of the program must enter their weight at the end of each week. Their individual weight totals will count toward the overall team total, and participants will be able to see their average weight loss or gain on the OYOH site.   Totals for the weight loss portion of the program may also be entered in the Dashboard.

Choose a Challenge:

Healthy Workplace Challenge is an exciting "Get Fit Crime Mystery
Challenge," where participants earn miles equal to a race around
London searching for clues to solve a case.

Family Challenge is designed to incorporate one activity with your
family from the family challenge list and track its progress. Families
can choose from an indoor, outdoor and/or social activity.

Fit Schools Challenge allows kids to track their miles as a race charting legendary explorers Lewis and Clark's trip to the Pacific and back!

Weight Loss Challenge Allows you to watch yourself virtually fly over the horizon in a hot air balloon as you track your fruits and veggie intake, shed pounds and get lighter by the week. This challenge encourages healthy, sustainable weight loss (one to two pounds per week).

















Sign up by yourself or with a team and create an online profile!

For Teams in your challenge: Captains sign up first and add their team members following the instructions online. Then, every team member signs up and completes the profile page. If there is an existing team you want to join, you can do that through the website, also.

After your Challenge is created, follow these steps to register online:

    1. Click Register Button above, and then on next page select "Not Registered?"
    2. On the next page is the User Agreement. Scroll to the bottom and click 'Agree.'
    3. Next page complete the profile page and make sure you choose the challenge you want.
    4. Click on the Challenges link in the Nav bar on the left.
    5. Click on advanced search, and then click on Private or Public Challenges.
    6. Type in your password if your challenge is Private.
    7. Then click on join challenge at the top of the page.
    8. Then, every member signs up and completes the profile page and repeat the above steps.
    9. A confirmation letter via e-mail from LWLA staff will follow shortly thereafter.

To earn points, teams or individuals enter their steps if using a pedometer, or enter the amount of time it takes them to complete activities. Teams' progress is constantly updated, and can be viewed by clicking on 'Challenge Progress,' then scrolling to the bottom of the page and seeing the rankings. Team captains and individual participants can report their totals via the website or can send an email to:

There's an App for That! 

Own Your Own Health Physical Activity and Nutrition Challenge formed a partnership with Core Health Technologies, Inc. and created the CoreMobile app to help you track your steps, weight loss, nutrition and more! To view the tutorial on how the app works, click here.

The integrated pedometer function lets you:

  • Track steps using your phone as a pedometer
  • Track your fitness each day using easy touch options
  • Find out if you are on or off target compared to personal steps goals
  • Maintain a history of your fitness to see improvement over time
  • Track fruits and veggies consumption for more balanced nutrition
  • Track body weight and compare to your history as you shed pounds
  • Link to the online challenges for inspiration and prizes
  • View real-time updates of the latest news on the Living Well Challenge site.