The U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities stresses the importance of physical activity for people of all ages and abilities. It calls on Americans to be more physically active through walking, and for all of us to support walking to promote optimal health before disease occurs. Further, the Pennsylvania State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) 2015-20 identifies its number one priority as: obesity, physical inactivity and nutrition.
WalkWorks, a collaboration of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the University of Pittsburgh, aims to increase opportunities for physical activity through the development of fun, fact-filled walking routes and sustainable walking groups in communities across Pennsylvania. Community based partners and affiliate organizations of WalkWorks create and sustain walking routes and groups, while assisting efforts to influence and support local policy change in the built environment to improve opportunities for safe active transportation. WalkWorks has 82 1-2 mile walking routes in 14 counties across the state being used by walking groups and individuals!
Locations of Community-Based Partners and Affiliates; and Number of Walking Routes by County
As the program enters its fourth year in July, WalkWorks will be seeking motivated communities that want to make a difference! A limited number of affiliates will be added to the WalkWorks network. Some of the benefits of participation include:
- Technical assistance and guide materials for route selection;
- Guidance for creating sustainable walking groups and appointing walking group leaders;
- Learning from the experience of partners and affiliates already engaged in the program;
- Promotional materials and signage for walking routes; and
- Inclusion in network emails, newsletters and webinars.
To learn more about WalkWorks and the resources available for incorporating health into planning and policy in your community, please visit www.pawalkworks.com. For an application to the WalkWorks Affiliate program, or ask questions about the program and its goals, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.