FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2019
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.
“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.”
“This is great news,” Diane Hegele, Borough Manager of the Borough of Hatboro “We are truly excited about being selected to be part of a program that encourages our constituents to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle and we look forward to working with WalkWorks and members of our community to implement this initiative.”
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.
About the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, founded in 1948 and now one of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States, conducts research on public health and medical care that improves the lives of millions of people around the world. Pitt Public Health is a leader in devising new methods to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other important public health problems. For more information about Pitt Public Health, visit the school’s Web site at www.publichealth.pitt.edu.
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