Kohl’s Bull City Fit is a community-based wellness program located in Durham, North Carolina. Bull City Fit is a leg of the Duke Children’s Healthy Lifestyles program which fights child health problems related to excess weight through compassionate providers, family orientated treatment approaches, well-qualified instructors and researchers, and strong relationships with community partners. Specifically, Bull City Fit aids in the mission by providing activity programming free of charge for the Durham community at large. The activities integrate multiple life facets that facilitate and promote healthy living, such as exercise games, sports classes, fitness routines, cooking, swimming, and gardening. All activities are conducted with the help of a highly enthusiastic staff and volunteer team, as Bull City Fit seeks to create an inclusive and engaging environment that all people can enjoy. 

Mission and Goals Edit

Bull City Fit is committed to health and wellness by its supportive, accepting, and active environment that creates friendships, furthers self-confidence, instills individual accountability, fosters peer support, and exhibits that any individual can attain a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. The main goals of Bull City Fit are to empower individuals and entire families to increase knowledge and implementation of exercise and nutritional consumption, confront present illnesses related to weight and prevent chronic illness by increasing exercise levels, better quality of life by encouraging healthy actions, and boost self-esteem, encourage favorable lifestyle alterations, and nurture a permanent dedication to healthy living.[1]

Childhood Obesity Edit

One in three children in the United States suffer health problems as a result of being overweight. Obesity-related deaths now are the second leading cause of preventable disease, behind tobacco. The drastic rise in childhood obesity rates is so pronounced that it may lower overall life-expectancy in the future. Among other problems, obese children have high risks of dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.[2]

History Edit

Shortly after the Duke Children's Healthy Lifestyles Program began seeing patients in 2006, the clinicians realized that many patients in the Durham area and surrounding communities were in need of a safe place to be active and further opportunities to put their prescribed behavior changes into practice. In 2009, Active Teens, a free fitness and nutrition program, opened at Lennox Baker Children's Hospital in Durham for Duke Children's Healthy Lifestyles teenage patients and their family members. The program continued to grow in size and popularity over the next few years, and increased space became an optimal need. In the summer of 2012, Duke Children's Healthy Lifestyles partnered with the Kohl's, the City of Durham, and Durham Parks and Recreation, to open Kohl's Bull City Fit on the campus of Edison Johnson Recreation Center in Durham. Operating hours doubled from 6 to 12 hours each week, programming expanded to include new activities such as swimming, gardening, cooking, and peer support, and children as young as 2 years were invited to participate in the new program. To date over 600 children and 500 volunteers have participated in Kohl's Bull City Fit activities.

Social Impact Edit

The Duke Children’s Healthy Lifestyles program is open to children at the 95th percentile or above in Body Mass Impact. There is no income cutoff for admission into the program. However, due to the prevalence and impact of health disparities, many children in the program are minorities from low-socioeconomic status backgrounds. Many of the factors that lead to high BMI are institutional and structural (ex. food prices, cost of youth sports, and access to recreation) and tend to disadvantage low-income minorities. Therefore, Bull City Fit plays a crucial role in attempting to reduce health disparities in the Durham community.[3] 

Activities Edit

Bull City Fit is open Monday through Friday as well as on most weekends. A typical day at Bull City Fit usually involves a warmup period achieved through playing a game such as zombie tag. Then, a group leader will direct stretching and calisthenics. This is followed by a myriad of possibilities, including dodgeball, kickboxing, jogging, and soccer. Some days have scheduled nutritional programming where kids learn how to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Most Saturdays, kids can use the swimming pool for another dimension of physical activity. On April 11, 2015, Bull City Fit hosted its first ever Biathlon which was open to all members of the community, regardless of membership in the Bull City Fit program.

Integration of Family Edit

One of the defining aspects of the Bull City Fit program is that the whole family is involved in the treatment plan of the child. Bull City Fit knows that family members are extremely important influences on children’s health because their habits of exercise, nutrition, sleep habits, etc. are observed and often mirrored by children. Because parents of overweight children are often overweight themselves, passing on healthy habits to their children can be difficult. Bull City Fit addresses this problem by offering nutrition programming to parents and by letting parents work out at the recreation center while their kids are doing activities. By educating the family, the program strives to change health trajectories in an educational, sustainable manner.

Contact Information Edit

Bull City Fit is exclusively open to Duke Children's Healthy Lifestyles program participants and their family members. The Healthy Lifestyles program is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary childhood obesity treatment clinic located in Durham, NC. To see if your child or patient qualifies for treatment, family members and providers can contact Program Coordinator at 919-620-5394. Providers can also fax a referral form to 919-471-6930.