(Canton, OH) August 28, 2018 – These local, pedestrian-friendly pathways were created to encourage safe exercise. With signs that indicate distance and approximate travel time, individuals can measure their walking distance and time spent being physically active within their own neighborhood. The urban pathways are a free, easy way for residents to participate in physical activity in Northeast, Southeast and Downtown Canton.
Three years ago, Live Well Stark County mapped several walking routes where people live, work and play in Canton, referred to as Stark Walks. In 2016, United Way of Greater Stark County joined the effort to develop additional routes, signs and expand participation throughout Stark County.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only half of American adults engage in the daily physical activity necessary to prevent the development of chronic disease. In Stark County, 34.1% of third graders are considered to be overweight or obese, and 30.7% of adults are considered obese while 34.3% are overweight (starkcountyohio.gov, Indicators Report 2014).
The CDC recommends that adults participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic activity 5 days a week plus an additional 2 days or more of muscle strengthening activity. Children need 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity a day.
“One of our 2020 Bold Goals is to increase the number of people in Stark County who report they are healthy. This program makes it easier for residents to access a healthier lifestyle”, says Maria Heege, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Stark County. “There are many benefits to walking like burning calories, improving fitness abilities, elevating mood and strengthening bones and muscles. Walking also lowers your risk of diabetes, depression, high blood pressure & heart disease.”
Stark Walks gives residents new places to exercise and inspires neighbors to form walking groups. The program encourages residents to take a step in the right direction by walking the paths and exploring the community – creating a culture of healthier lives by reducing health risks in Stark County.
“Stark Walks was designed to provide opportunities for people to participate in physical activity right in their own neighborhoods. Believe it or not, having to get to another location to participate in physical activity is in itself a barrier,” says Chelsea Sadinski, Health Educator at the Stark County Health Department. “Walking is just as effective as any other form of exercise, and it’s free! More than a quarter of Stark County adults are physically inactive, but this program will help encourage Stark County residents to become more active and live a healthier lifestyle.”
Stark Walks is supported by the Stark County Health Department and United Way of Greater Stark County through Live Well Stark County coalition. Visit www.uwstark.org/stark-walks for more information and the maps available for each group of routes.
About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities in Greater Stark County. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit www.uwstark.org. Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.