Council to hear of walking initiative

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


At 6 p.m. Tuesday the Washington City Council will be asked to put its best collective foot forward to help a class from the University of Iowa promote walking as a form of exercise.

During the regular city council meeting, a group from the University of Iowa?s Physical Activity Interventions class will present the results of their work that has been progressing to promote walkability and walking participation rates in Washington. The group has begun a mass media campaign called Washington Weekly 150, which encourages Washingtonians to walk 150 minutes per week as a way of increasing physical activity in the city.

?A group of students is coming who have been working with Washington County Public Health on walkability,? Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said. ?They came and met with a group of city officials recently and they are going to come and present to the council their findings.?

According to the council packet, the students have set up a website to promote walking, The site includes such tings as evidence-based Walking resources, street policy resources, an environmental assessment, safe walking routes, and community responses to physical activity. Council members as well as health professionals and community members are invited to use the information for community benefit.

The Weekly 150 campaign was created through a partnership with the students and Washington County Public Health. The site states that the walking would only take 22 minutes per day.

It also includes community events that encourage walking.

Hinson also said the council would consider the strategic planning goals resolution created during a special session Tuesday, Nov. 28. Goals include development of the wellness park, sewer inflow and infiltration, housing development and the construction of the new municipal building.

The council also will discuss the employee health insurance renewal.

Hinson said this year the renewal came back 30.1 percent higher than last year but due to some negotiating, the increase will be about 12 percent.