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Dept. for Public Health challenges communities to Step It Up!

Campaign encourages healthy environments, access to walking, physical activity

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 27, 2016)— The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is challenging communities and organizations to join Step It Up, Kentucky! This statewide campaign aims to improve the health of all Kentuckians by building the demand for walkable communities, making walking a priority.

Public health recommends getting 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week to improve health, which can easily be achieved by walking. People are more likely to make the decision to walk when they have places, programs and policies that provide opportunities and encouragement.

“Getting people to move more starts with improving the places we live, learn, work and play,” said Elaine Russell, coordinator for the Obesity Prevention Program. “Communities can be built for people to be active in their everyday life. By providing safe, attractive and convenient places to walk, anybody can incorporate exercise into their daily routine.”

Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General launched Step It Up! A Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities, which calls on Americans to increase walking by designing communities that encourage physical activity in order to address rising rates of chronic disease. Step It Up, Kentucky! demonstrates a state-level commitment to the Surgeon General’s call to action.

Step It Up! has already received numerous endorsements from businesses, organizations, individuals and state leaders, including Gov. Matt Bevin, who issued an official proclamation in support of Step It Up!

There are many things communities can do to support Step It Up, Kentucky!, including participating in walking programs, working with local coalitions to create spaces and opportunities for walking, or just spreading the message that Kentucky communities need to be redesigned as thriving places for everybody to be active and healthy.

Individuals and organizations can join Step It Up, Kentucky! by pledging their support and taking any of the small steps to promote walking in their communities: