The Healthiest State Annual Walk (HSAW), presented by Delta Dental of Iowa, will take place on Wednesday, October 2nd. Since 2011, the Healthiest State Initiative (HSI) has engaged hundreds of thousands of Iowans in schools, worksites, and communities across the state to walk for thirty minutes. This year, the HSAW aims to have at least one organized walk in all ninety-nine counties with a total of at least 900 walkers to celebrate the event’s ninth year. As of Thursday, September 12th, Muscatine County currently has five registered walks; they include Bayer Work Walk, Kent Corporation, Muscatine Community YMCA, Refit® Class Walk, and UnityPoint Health – Trinity Muscatine.
The Muscatine County Empowering Healthy Behaviors Initiative (MCEHBI) and the HSI invite all Iowans to take this first step in building a healthier lifestyle and hope that you will make walking thirty minutes part of your everyday routine.
Kim Seligman, facilitator of the MCEHBI, stated, “according to the 2018 Community Health Assessment, the obesity prevalence in Muscatine County is 49.2% and diabetes prevalence is 17.9%, with Iowa’s obesity prevalence at 32.0% and diabetes prevalence at 9.3%. The collective vision of both initiatives includes having children, adults, and families living healthier lifestyles with improved health outcomes. Seligman also stated, “On November 5th, 2018, the Iowa Public Health Association released the 2016-17 data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that one in six youth, ages ten to seventeen are obese. Nationally, 15.8% of youth in this age range are obese, and Iowa has the tenth highest obesity rate in youth ages ten to seventeen at 17.7%.”
The MCEHBI includes representation from Gilda’s Club, ISU Extension – Muscatine County, Muscatine Community Y, Muscatine Diabetes Project, Muscatine Community School District, Muscatine Hy-Vee Food Store Dietitian, Muscatine Parks and Recreation, Trinity Muscatine Public Health, Trinity Muscatine New Horizons, United Way of Muscatine, and independent health coach Allison Castle. They set a 2019-2021 strategic goal of increasing access and education to nutrition and physical activity opportunities throughout Muscatine County to decrease the prevalence of obesity and diabetes.
If you or your organization would like to learn more about the Muscatine County Empowering Healthy Behaviors Initiative, you can contact Seligman at (563)-260-2763.
The Annual Walk also serves as a kick-off to Healthiest State Month, happening throughout October, encouraging Iowans to “Live 5-2-1-0” and reminding them that “Healthy Choices Count!” To learn more about 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count, visit www.iowahealthieststate.com/5210.