Andrews Attempts World Record in Sit-Ups
Community-building wellness event draws over 500 to Johnson Gym
When the doors to Johnson Gym opened at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 522 participants flooded inside to attempt breaking a Guinness world record for the most people doing sit-ups simultaneously for over one minute.
The crowd consisted of Andrews University students, faculty and staff, community members and over 230 Andrews Academy students and staff.
“I’m super excited to be a part of this world record event,” said Hannah Mbungu, senior nutrition science major.
Hathershaw College in the U.K. holds the current world record in this category. Their event last May saw 503 people continuously performing sit-ups for over one minute.
“I love to see the Andrews family come together in the spirit of community while celebrating health and wellness,” said Emily Carlson, assistant director of Student Activities & Involvement.
Eager participants were ushered inside the gym, greeted with smiles and yellow participant-identification wristbands, and then encouraged to sit in groups of 50.
“There is such a buzz in the air when we come together as a community and campus to set a new world record, and to think we are not only setting the record but we’re improving ourselves in the process. It doesn’t get any better than that,” said Dwight Nelson, lead pastor at Pioneer Memorial Church.
Before the attempt began, Dominique Wakefield, director of University Health & Wellness, addressed the audience with encouragement and participation rules. “I’m so excited because we have the potential to break the current world record for people doing sit-ups together for more than one minute,” she said.
The rules stated that participants had to go all the way down and come up fully to a seated position while keeping their feet planted on the ground. Hands could either be beside their heads or across their chests. Wakefield used the microphone to instruct participants on when to go down and come back up. After the allotted time, section supervisors would decide how many were disqualified for incorrect form and the number would then be tallied and announced.
The contest featured two official witnesses, Chuck Heit, undersheriff and Paul Toliver, chief, both of the Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Police Department.
“It is very cool, you bring a lot of people together who are striving to achieve a common goal and you see everybody excited, which is great,” said Toliver. “You’re a part of a program that does things together, it's not individualistic. It makes people work harder.”
Both attempts were just shy of the 503 mark, with the second coming as close as 496 people doing sit-ups continuously with proper form.
Participants expressed eagerness to try again in the future, and had a great time coming together as a community to promote healthy choices.
“I felt like I was a part of history, when we started getting close to the one-minute mark everyone started cheering and it’s just so nice that the campus can come together like this,” said Anecia Ascalon, junior elementary education major.
For more information about the University’s Health & Wellness initiative and for details on upcoming wellness events, visit andrews.edu/wellness.