WalkWorks ChesCo! is designed to promote, educate and empower residents to adopt a healthier lifestyle one step at a time by creating more places for walking, supporting and promoting walking groups, coordinating walking challenges and – importantly – creating a website that allows everyone to track and tally their steps towards the one billion goal.
The WalkWorks ChesCo! kick off events were held in three of Chester County’s urban centers where special walking routes were established highlighting historic and other points of interest. In addition to the Chester County Commissioners and Health Department representatives, the kick-off events brought together county partners supporting the WalkWorks program – from local borough and city council representatives, business and non-profit organizations, to Activate and YMCA personnel. A key feature of the launch program was a “Ville to Ville Challenge’ with walking groups in Coatesville and Phoenixville calling upon their local communities to walk the most steps in a six week period.
Chester County was once again acknowledged as the healthiest county in the state of Pennsylvania by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. But even with that distinction, one in four Chester County adults and children are considered overweight or obese. WalkWorks ChesCo! uses the most simple and inexpensive method of exercise – walking – to encourage regular physical activity in communities throughout the county. The program is Chester County’s response as a HealthyCommunity 50 member of the national Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, a two-year competition that empowers U.S cities and counties to create a positive health impact.