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Walking as a Team

SNAP-Ed educator Leticia Rodriguez (in blue and white)
poses with members of her interdisciplinary team — and Elvis.
On May 4–6, University of Minnesota Extension SNAP-Ed Educator Leticia Rodriguez attended the Action Institute Walkability Conference in Nashville, TN. Walkability, according to Steve Abley, is "the extent to which the built environment is friendly to the presence of people living, shopping, visiting, enjoying or spending time in an area." The conference addressed policy, systems, and environmental changes and interventions to increase population levels of physical activity with a focus on walking.

Southwest Minnesota was represented by an interdisciplinary team that included representatives from the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), Minnesota Department of HealthMinnesota Department of Transportation, and Southwest Regional Development Commission.

The goal of this team is to reduce the risk and burden of chronic disease, especially in Worthington, MN. The conference taught concepts that support equitable achievement of walking and walkability infrastructure strategies on micro and macro levels. The goal of these strategies is to increase walkability in the community, particularly in locations and among groups of people who currently have limited options for walking.

As a result of the information the team brought back to Worthington, an Active Living Plan was approved by the Worthington City Council, which will make Worthington more walkable. To read the plan, visit the City of Worthington's Worthington's Active Living Plan web page. To read about SHIP's involvement, read the Daily Globe's 2014 article SHIP committee develops active living plan.

The walkability conference was sponsored by National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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