About Walk Across Arizona

What has been done?

An essential component of Walk Across Arizona is to help communities through the development and evaluation of effective lifestyle programs that can be maintained in a community and replicated in other communities.

The vision of the Walk Across Arizona campaign is to encourage individuals and families to increase their participation in activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. The ultimate goal is to increase satisfaction with the community and decrease social isolation of residents within communities.

The Walk Across Arizona walking club concept was developed by Community Health Advancement Partnerships (CHAPS) as part of a "Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle" sub-committee of the Green Valley Health and Human Services Committee in Pima County. Walk Across Arizona was based on similar walking programs in other states. Community task force members were identified, and regular meetings have been held since September of 2000 with CHAPS acting as the lead agency. The theoretical basis for the program was to use social support networks to increase physical activity levels within the community by developing and maintaining walking clubs.

In past years, additional partners have been added to the collaboration with major contributions by The Department of Nutritional Sciences with emphasis on community outreach, development of weekly newsletters, web-site design, and trouble shooting. The Department is helping to extend outreach of WAAZ statewide with inclusion of youth engaging with the outdoors and programs for the underserved through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP-Ed).

References

Teran, BM, Hongu, N. (2012). Successfull statewide walking program websites. Journal of Extension, 50 (1). Available online. https://www.joe.org/joe/2012february/tt9.php

Hongu, N., Block, L.M., Sanchez, S.A., Hoelscher Day, S., & Harris, R.B. (2010). Walk Across Arizona, community-based walking program: Promoting and sustaining physical activity in older adults. The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, 15 (2). Available online, http://ncsu.edu/ffci/publications/2010/v15-n2-2010-summer-fall/hongu-blo...

How can we possibly walk across Arizona? It's simple.

  • Join us in an 8 week walking program designed for teams of up to 10 people.
  • Encourage your pals, neighbors, co-workers, and family to form teams and build a healthy habit and walk for fitness.
  • Report your miles on the web-site or to team captains each week. Team mileage is recorded at this site.
  • To evaluate the success and benefits of the walking program, entry, exit, and tracking forms are developed to characterize the participants, and to track their physical activity habits, levels of energy, social interaction, and satisfaction with their community.
  • Participate in community kick-off and celebration events.
  • Go to your county page to learn more about this program in your community.

Walking improves flexibility