Navigate Up
UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Senior Manager
Telephone: 412-578-9193 or 412-624-3212

Director
Telephone: 412-417-2582
 

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Partners with the Pennsylvania Department of Health on WalkWorks to Increase Physical Activity in Western PA

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 26 – The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) Center for Public Health Practice and the Pennsylvania Department of Health have created WalkWorks, an effort to increase physical activity among people of all ages and abilities in Western Pennsylvania by developing community-based walking programs. The initiative will establish local walking routes and enhance social support for people who would like to increase their level of physical activity.

Areas slated for immediate implementation of the WalkWorks program include Cambria, Crawford, Greene, McKean, Venango and Washington counties, which have been identified as among those with the greatest burden of chronic disease in Pennsylvania.

“Ultimately, the goal is to promote change in local policies to encourage more people to walk,” said WalkWorks advisor George Huber, J.D., associate dean for public policy, GSPH. “We are building momentum and looking at policies at the local level that can be modified to support pedestrian transportation.”

WalkWorks aims to reduce barriers to and increase participation in physical activity for individuals of all ages and abilities.

“We have assembled a team of health educators, public health practitioners and researchers at GSPH to help local communities in our region identify and mark safe walking routes, promote the walking routes to community members and establish guided community-based walking groups,” said WalkWorks director Linda Duchak, Ed.M., C.H.E.S. 

In their physical activity guidelines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults aged 18 to 64 get at least 2.5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, per week.  

“This program can improve the health and quality of life of everyone in our communities. At the same time, it can help to lower our rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure,” said William J. McMahon, M.D., a retired physician in Washington County, Pennsylvania, a member of the Washington County WalkWorks coalition and a WalkWorks walking group leader.

Local sponsors of the WalkWorks program include the Center for Rural Health Practice of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford; Greene County Human Services; Memorial Medical Center; Oil City Area YMCA; Titusville Area Hospital; and Washington County Health Partners.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com