Let's Get Physical: Improving health through physical activity

June 2013 ENGAGE Magazine


In this edition, we're looking at how individuals and communities are working together to be more active and healthy.

View the full edition online or download a PDF

Stories Inside:

Arkansas Towns Get on Track to Support Healthy Living
“If we look at how we make our communities and keep their vitality and keep their continued economic growth and development, we have to be able to attract businesses and professionals who want to come and live and work in our communities,” said Duston Morris, an assistant professor of health sciences at University of Central Arkansas and chairman of the Conway Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board. “So many people want active living now or at least the opportunities to get out and explore their communities.”

Communities Pay for Inactivity
Rising costs of healthcare affect us all, regardless of our own health. In the U.S., physical inactivity for adults is estimated to cost the healthcare system approximately $250 billion each year. Increased health care costs due to obesity (which is strongly related to physical inactivity) are figured to be between $150 and $190 billion per year in the U.S. and between $1.5 billion and $1.9 billion per year in Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI).

Trading Spaces: How to create a joint use agreement to share recreation facilities
Safe and easily accessible, schools are an often untapped recreational resource already available in almost every community in our state. Through “joint use agreements,” school districts are formalizing partnerships to share spaces for recreation and athletics to give more people the opportunity to be active. We spoke to Marilyn Chambers, Special Programs Coordinator for the Hamburg School District, and Kelly Spencer, Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Cabot School District, to learn how they set up successful joint use agreement programs.

Lake Village Seniors Stay Strong and Fit
On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, you can find Claire Jaggers and her classmates — most of whom are in their 60s and 70s — dancing, marching and stretching to the beat of a high energy remix of favorite oldies tunes. Led by Cammie Trexler, the Lake Village Community Outreach Center's director and main fitness instructor, members of the senior fitness class tackle a rigorous workout that uses resistance bands, medicine balls and hand weights to improve strength, balance and flexibility. It’s clear that age isn’t slowing these seniors down.

Arkansas Viewpoints: What are the Barriers to Physical Activity in Arkansas Communities?
Viewpoints from Trudy Redus, president of Jefferson County Growing Healthy Communities, and Joy Rockenbach of Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention.

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