New coordinator gets moving

Published 10:44 pm Friday, November 28, 2014

The new Suffolk on the Move coordinator hopes she has the right stuff to motivate Suffolk to be a healthier city.

Deborah Nadell holds a Master of Fine Arts in dance, which she taught at Old Dominion University and still teaches at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. But once her legs were wore out on her dance career, she switched to advertising sales and to walking as a way of working out.



“I’m excited about it,” she said of her new job, where she has been for about a month. “I had the dance background, I had the advertising background, and this puts everything together.”

Email newsletter signup

A native of Atlanta, Nadell has been in Suffolk for more than 30 years and is excited to help make her adopted home more healthy.

She’s started a program that offers fitness challenges to businesses, schools, churches and other organizations. She works with the various organizations to create walking programs especially for them, at no cost.

“It’s the only physical activity that requires no special training, and everyone can do it,” she said. “It doesn’t matter whether the person is in shape, out of shape. All you have to do to be active is put your sneakers on.”

Nadell believes the program will be easy to get companies to buy into.

“If you’re fit and healthy and take walking breaks, you’re more productive,” Nadell said. “It helps with Type 2 diabetes. You’re more alert.”

She said she is working to make it “turnkey” for businesses. Once they pick their start date, goals and challenges, Suffolk on the Move — which is a program of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community — will help with the announcement, launch, award recognition and follow-up.

She started talking to businesses only three weeks or so into her new job. Companies from real estate to funeral homes to automotive are among her first targets, she said.

“No one is off limits,” she said. “The needs of each organization are a little different.”

Nadell said the ultimate goal isn’t to get folks walking five miles a day, although that would be great.

“Even if it’s 10 minutes a day, you just have to start,” she said. “They’ve started talking about how sitting is bad for your health.”

For more information, contact Nadell at 539-1525.