According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), evidence suggests that most Americans need to get more physical activity. Two-thirds of people in the United States weigh more than they should and nearly three-quarters don't get the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. Because many adults spend 20, 30, or 40 hours or more a week at work, adding physical activity to employee's workdays may be one way to help working Americans become healthier.
Walkability is the idea of quantifying the safety and desirability of the walking routes.
There is scientific evidence that providing access to places for physical activity increases the level of physical activity in a community. The Task Force on Community Preventive Services strongly recommends creating or enhancing access to places for physical activity, in conjunction with a well-run communication and marketing campaign. A typical study of an intervention to create or enhance access to places for physical activity reports a 25% increase in physical activity levels.
Panhandle Worksite Wellness Council is proud to provide mini-grants for a variety of policies, systems, and/or environmental supports to expand worksite campus walkability, signage, and promotion. The following are examples of the most recent projects area businesses have developed in partnership with the council:
Main Location: Chadron
As a public institution with its roots in teacher education, Chadron State takes pride in its accessibility. People are often surprised when comparing Chadron Stat'es cost of attendance with other institutions of higher education. It may sound cliche, but it's true: the students of Chadron State get unrivaled quality for the dollar. Chadron State's approach of offering a top quality education for a reasonable cost has helped improve the lives of countless graduates, many who were first generation. Alumni from near and afar testify that Chadron State was a major factor in their success and is responsible for the best years of their lives.
The council worked with Chadron State College to map walking paths around the Burkhiser Technology Complex and provide Step and Repeat branding to distribute throughout the campus.
Main Location: Scottsbluff
The council worked with Panhandle Coop to map their grocery store at their Main Street Market Scottsbluff location. See full news release.
Location: Main Office - Gering
The DOVES Program provides services for victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking. They serve women, men, teens, and children.
The DOVES Program Wellness Committee discussed regular walking routes with employees that were ideal for break or lunch time walks roughly 10-15 minutes in length. The council assisted with development of the promotional materials, mapping of identified walking routes complete with estimated time and distance, and helping communicate the message to employees. Below is an example of one of their posters printed for their Gering office.
Main Location: Scottsbluff
Regional West Health Services in Scottsbluff, Neb., is the parent company of Regional West Medical Center, a 182-bed regional referral center and one of three Level II Trauma Centers in the state. The trauma program includes Air Link air ambulance services, which is fully accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).
As the region’s only tertiary referral medical center, Regional West offers care that spans more than 32 medical specialties provided by over 28 physician clinics. With nearly 300 providers, and over 2,000 employees, Regional West provides comprehensive and innovative health care services for the people of western Nebraska and the neighboring states of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
The walkable campus project includes routes at Regional West’s main campus, St. Mary campus and The Village at Regional West. Each route is marked by Step and Repeat signs at the starting point of each trail. They vary from less than a mile to half a mile.
Regional West encourages all area residents to make walking part of their daily exercise program and to use the Step and Repeat routes at all three campuses.
Cirrus House, Inc. focuses on providing quality of life and independence for people living with mental illness in the Nebraska Panhandle through providing opportunities for advocacy, housing, employment, education and a peer supported community where members can find belonging and purpose.
Cirrus House, Inc. also stresses the importance to engage the large social environment that we all live in. This includes family and friends, and the neighborhood they live in. Community includes employers, organizations, schools, law enforcement agencies, faith and civic groups, and private citizens. Mental illness not only affects individuals but it has the potential to affect the family and friends in an individual's life.
Worksite Wellness helped Cirrus House, Inc. with their walkable campus initiative by mapping out their main building as well as assisted living building. They also encourage outdoor walking along with healthy parking.
Location: Main Campus - Scottsbluff
The WNCC Wellness Committee, Cougar Strides, identified short paths on the outdoor WNCC campus and also in their indoor Cougar Palace. See examples below: