WalkWorks Program Improves Health of Communities through Physical Activity, Expands Access Throughout State

WalkWorks Program Improves Health of Communities through Physical Activity, Expands Access Throughout State

HARRISBURG, PA — The WalkWorks program, a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, is continuing to grow, adding four new partners and locations.

“Having access to activity-friendly walking routes is essential in helping to keep Pennsylvanians healthy,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “I can speak first-hand to the benefit of a designated walking route, as I actively participate in a walking group that utilizes a WalkWorks route around the Capitol Complex. Physical activity can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and premature death. Being active also helps prevent weight gain, reduce depression and improve cognitive function in older adults.”

The new partners are working with others in their communities to identify potential routes. WalkWorks will provide technical assistance, promotional materials and signs to the new community partners. Those new partners are:

  • Recreation Economy Committee with the Cambria Regional Chamber, which will develop a walking route in the City of Johnstown;
  • Borough of Hatboro in Montgomery County;
  • Shippensburg Community Parks and Recreation Authority – a municipal authority created by Shippensburg Borough in Cumberland County and Southampton Township in Franklin County; and
  • Wilkes-Barre Health Department in Luzerne County.
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“These communities have demonstrated their commitment to expanding opportunities for physical activity in the built environment,” said Carol Reichbaum, M.S.L., M.S.P.A., director of WalkWorks in Pitt Public Health’s Center for Public Health Practice. “Each will engage community members to assist with the identification of a 1- to 2-mile walking route, which will be used by walking groups.”

Funding for WalkWorks is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant and the State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program, both from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information about WalkWorks, visit www.pawalkworks.com.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

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