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September 10, 2015 2:15 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Answering the Call to Walk

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a call to Americans yesterday that, put simply, urges them to begin to walk more. APA’s Anna Ricklin, AICP, was quoted in USA Today about this call to action:

“How your community is planned really has a lot to do with how healthy you are …”

Anna Ricklin, AICP

APA’s Anna Ricklin, AICP

Ricklin is the manager of the Planning and Community Health Center that focuses on creating healthier communities by bringing together a variety of stakeholders from policymakers to public health professionals to planners.

APA has been actively working to improve the built environment in conjunction with the health of communities through a variety of initiatives. Under way is the three-year Plan4Health initiative, which connects communities across the country, funding work at the intersection of planning and public health. Anchored by APA Chapters and APHA Affiliates, Plan4Health supports creative partnerships to build sustainable, cross-sector coalitions. Coalitions work with communities to increase access to healthy food or increase opportunities for active living where residents live, work, and play.

Several of the Plan4Health coalitions are specifically focusing on improving community health through physical activity. Check out: Austin, Texas; Bensenville, Illinois; Dane County, Wisconsin; Columbus, Ohio; Eastern Highlands, Connecticut; Indianapolis, Indiana; St. Louis, Missouri; Kane County, Illinois; Kingston, New York; Nashua, New Hampshire; Summit County, Ohio; Linn County, Iowa; Columbus, Indiana; and Trenton, New Jersey.

Look no further for resources available from APA on how you, too, can promote walking within your community.

City Parks Briefing Papers

“Safe Routes to Parks” Fact Sheet

Webinars: Highlighting Safe Routes to Parks; Building Bridges Towards Healthy Transportation; Community Guide webinar; and the Role of Parks and Recreation in Promoting Health

“Health Benefits of Green Infrastructure” Fact Sheet

“Health in Comprehensive Plans” Fact Sheet

Policy Guide on Surface Transportation

Policy Guide on Aging in Community

Complete Streets (PAS Report 559)

“The Role of Parks in Shaping Successful Cities”

Benefits of Street-Scale Features for Walking and Biking

Find out how to join the conversation about this call to action on Twitter.

And finally, here’s a sneak preview of APA’s upcoming radio public service announcement (PSA) that will be released this fall. We hope you’ll hear it soon on your own radio.

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