March 3rd, 2015
In an effort to combat obesity in the state, University of Georgia Extension’s Walk Georgia is working to equip Georgians with the knowledge and tools needed to be more physically active.
Walk Georgia has reached more than 50,000 Georgians since its inception in 2008, with a goal of 100,000 over the next three years.
A web-based program offered at no cost to all residents, participants register for Walk Georgia through the website, WalkGeorgia.org, and track their physical activity data online. Extension agents throughout the state plan community events, meet residents in person and provide incentives at the county level, encouraging adoption of physical activity through Walk Georgia.
Georgia has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation, and the key to winning the fight against obesity statewide is local intervention, extension officials said. Walk Georgia, run jointly by UGA Extension and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences, is based in communities. Participants logged near 30,000 miles of activity during the spring 2014 session of Walk Georgia and to date, Georgians have logged about 5 million miles of physical activity through the program.
“To me, the beauty of Walk Georgia is that it meets people where they are,” said Deborah Murray, associate dean for extension and outreach in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “Because it’s a community-based program, there’s something in it for everyone.”
The Walk Georgia blog, found at http://blog.extension.uga.edu/walkgeorgia/, supplements the online program, providing daily information ranging from recipes to website and app recommendations to information on state parks as well as health and wellness articles authored by Extension personnel. The program also maintains a presence on social media – Facebook, Twitter @WalkGa and Pinterest.
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