The University Of Pittsburgh School Of Public Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Health are partnering with Delaware County Council and the department of Intercommunity Health Coordination to increase opportunities for physical activity in Delaware County through an initiative called WalkWorks.
By establishing community-based walking routes and forming sustainable walking groups, WalkWorks seeks to enhance and improve the health of residents in Delaware County.
"Implementing WalkWorks in Delaware County will offer residents the chance to participate in group walks and gain from the social support and incentive of others in an effort to optimize their own health," said Lori Devlin, Director of Delaware County Intercommunity Health Coordination. "This is a great program and we are thrilled that the PA Department of Health and Pitt Public Health chose us as a partner."
In October of 2017, three routes were released -located in Lansdowne, Yeadon, and Media. These routes were developed when Delaware County Planning Department conducted "walkability assessments" on routes recommended by stakeholders from Media and Lansdowne Boroughs. In June of 2018, the fourth route in Marcus Hook was released. Several agencies are planning to establish regular walking groups to take advantage of the routes.
In addition to increasing physical activity the goal of WalkWorks is to encourage local and regional planning efforts so that pedestrians as well as bicyclists are considered and improvements are made to the existing transportation networks that will allow residents to enjoy walking safely in their communities.
Walking aids your body in several ways. Walking helps:
Walking is even better for you than running or jogging because it puts less stress on your joints, such as your hips, knees, and ankles.
Every minute of walking can extend your life for 1.5-2 minutes. An additional twenty minutes of walking daily can burn 7 pounds annually, even while maintaining the same diet (Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University).
By becoming a part of WalkWorks, you can improve your health and socialize with friends and family while enjoying the scenery in a familiar area. You may discover landmarks you didn't know existed in your hometown!
If you are interested in joining a walking group in Delaware County or currently belong to a walking group or other organization that is looking for a place to walk and engage in regular physical activity, please email DelcoICH@co.delaware.pa.us or call 610-891-5311 for more information.
Delaware County has developed four routes. The locations are Media, Marcus Hook, Lansdowne, and Yeadon/Lansdowne.
Look for WalkWork signage and start walking!
Here are maps of the routes:
For more information on this initiative, please visit http://www.health.pa.gov/WalkWorks/Pages/default.aspx#.WXDDMRXyu1s