HBLL indoor walking trails put spring in students’ steps

Dani Jardine
Sara Buckley marks indoor walking trails through the HBLL using a surveyor wheel. (Dani Jardine)

The Harold B. Lee Library is encouraging physical activity and inviting all patrons — not just students — to explore the library with a new series of indoor walking trails.

The indoor trails vary in distance and difficulty and allow students to interact with different areas and exhibits around the library. BYU advertising student Sara Buckley, who works in the library as a public relations assistant, led the project in collaboration with Communications and Public Relations Manager Roger Layton.

“This was to give a purpose to walking in the library, to tell students you’re not going to be wasting your time walking around,” Buckley said. “You can know how far you’re going. You can be active a little bit. It’s a way to break up the monotony of studying and feel like you’re being productive while taking a break.”

The “Floor 3 Perimeter” walk measures in at 0.209 miles, making it the shortest path, while the “Zigzag” trail on the fifth floor is the longest of the walks at 1.66 miles. Other creative trails include the “Gallery Gallop” and “The Fault Within Our Stairs.”

Buckley said she started the measuring process for the indoor trails last summer. She would pick a few days and “walk the whole day, just mapping.” She used a surveyor’s measuring wheel to help calculate the distance.

Buckley and Layton debuted the HBLL’s indoor walking trails at the Student Wellness Fair earlier this semester, where they gave out several hundred map booklets. They are looking to build a further relationship with Student Wellness to get the word out about the campaign.

BYU graphic design major Talia Ostraff, a graphic designer for the library, worked closely with Buckley to create the trail maps for the project. Her intention for the design was to make the maps clear and understandable while still being creative.

Talia Ostraff
The Zigzag trail on the fifth floor of the HBLL measures out to be 1.66 miles long. (Talia Ostraff)

“As far as the design went, I had a lot of freedom with that,” Ostraff said. “I wanted it to be more fun. I wanted to present it in a way that showed the library had a lot to offer.”

BYU exercise science professor Lance Davidson said there are safety hazards to exercising outside in the winter time, aside from the fact it is often uncomfortable. He suggested getting up and moving during long periods of sitting at least every two hours, if not more frequently.

Being physically active includes walking around during the day, and it can be more helpful in preventing and treating chronic diseases, according to Davidson. He said the mind, body and spirit are strengthened by any kind of activity, even if it’s not considered traditional exercise.

“The increased blood flow you’re going to get walking around will invigorate your mind,” Davidson said. “If you’re falling asleep in the library, there’s no excuse. You need to get up and move around.”

Library patrons won’t see the indoor trails mapped out on the floors, but the maps can be accessed online and printed out for individual use.

Layton said the trails are about more than just getting people to come into the library. He agreed increased physical activity is beneficial to students’ academic success, especially during stressful times in the semester like finals week.

“You really will do better (academically) if you get some exercise,” Layton said. “This gives you a chance to get up, stay in the building, march around, maybe see something new, hopefully learn something about some of our collections and then get back to work.”

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