March 9, 2015
While studies showed that exercise combined with healthy food choices reduced the risk of chronic diseases, it appeared that El Paso was not following the national trend with 75% of adults not participating in any physical activity. Most sedentary group was women ages 35 to 65 years of age.
Walk El Paso was a funded initiative launched in 1998 by the Foundation to inspire and mobilize the El Paso sedentary population to begin a simple walking program. Through the development of walking material, walking groups, events and a media campaign with a “Walk El Paso walk, 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week” jingle, as the principle message, the program worked to change sedentary behaviors and increase participation in walking.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 people participated in several walking groups or events over five-years. In addition, a survey conducted of individuals that ordered a Walk El Paso walking kit in 1999 stated:
• 68% of those who attended an event reported that it was very inspiring. • 73% reported that the Walk El Paso campaign helped them start or continue a regular walking program • Walking in El Paso parks and schools increased 100% in 1999 during the media campaign • On average, people were walking at a moderate pace for 40 minutes per day, four times a week, exceeding the Walk El Paso goal of 20 minutes per day, three times a week. (Karen J. Coleman Ph.D., University of Texas at El Paso.)
The success of Walk El Paso expanded funding to New Mexico with Walk Doña Ana and Walk Otero and later into Ciudad Juárez with Camina Juárez.
Today, walking in the region has increased significantly with many still able to recite the jingle. As people become more physically active, the Foundation has ventured to expanding accessibility to safe areas for walking and bicycling in the region.
Give us a shout out if you participated in one of the Walk El Paso events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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