The Florida Department of Health and Move Tallahassee partnered together on Saturday for the Walk for Health in Tom Brown Park. These sponsors plan to host the event annually.
The walk was a part of Florida’s Surgeon General -John H. Armstrong- healthiest weight initiative that started in 2013. According to the Florida Health website, the goal is to encourage and protect the health and safety of all Florida residents.
Claudia Blackburn, health officer of FDOH in Leon County, says walking is a great way to promote the initiative.
“Part of the healthiest weight initiative is physical activity, and walking is really the most popular physical activity in the United States and it’s increased in the last five to 10 years,” Blackburn said.
This is true, according to the Physical Activity and Health report produced by the surgeon general, walking and gardening is the most popular leisure-time physical activity.
Blackburn thought it was a great idea to partner with Move Tallahassee because participants do not need to pre-register and they feel a part of the community.
“People can just show up and walk,” said Blackburn. “They don’t have to pay anything, they don’t have to register, they just show up and they walk, and they meet new people and they have fun and they get their physical activity.”
The head of Move Tallahassee, Gregg Patterson, says their walks are for everyone.
“We encourage people of all capabilities,” said Patterson. “ We have a sweep walker so no one is left behind.”
The website was created to bring the community together by doing informal walks throughout the city. Patterson says his favorite aspect of the site is the diversity that it brings.
“What has been so great about this is the social aspect. You have judges walking with carpenters and students walking with retired people. You end up meeting people you wouldn’t meet otherwise,” said Patterson.
Tallahassee resident, Deanna Barath, agrees. She likes that she is able to just get up and walk with the community.
“I read about it on Move Tallahassee. I liked the location, I like Tom Brown Park and I like the fact that it was community oriented,” said Barath.
Roughly 36 percent of Floridians are not at risk with their weight. If this trend continues, 60 percent will be obese by 2030. The healthiest weight initiative hopes to reverse this trend by helping adults and children make informed choices in regards to their health.
Move Tallahassee walks twice a month and sometimes host flash walks, where they randomly post a location to meet up and walk.
For more information on the healthiest weight initiative, visit HealthiestWeightFlorida.com.
For more information on free walks in the community visit Move.Tallahassee.com.