|WV WALKS is a unique walking campaign conducted on the air waves, in the print media, in the streets, and on the walking trails of north-central West Virginia. It is a project that has been developed by the Monongalia County Health Department and West Virginia University to promote increased walking and reduce the burden of overweight, heart disease, and diabetes in north-central West Virginia. A sedentary lifestyle, along with poor diet, causes as many deaths as tobacco.|
The media campaign kickoff was held on March 15, 2005 at the Radisson Hotel in Morgantown, WV and ran for 8 weeks ending with a celebration on May 7, 2005. During the campaign, there were various press conferences, community walks, and guest speakers.
WV WALKS coordinated a 4-week follow-up booster starting September 24, 2005. The booster kicked-off at the WVU Coliseum with a theme of “Where To Walk”. The WV WALKS Frequent Walker Card was unveiled at this event. Sponsored walking events included walking school buses, dog walks, a Morgantown Bridge Day, and in association with West Virginia on the Move, a Day of Action.
WV WALKS was designed to benefit the residents of north-central West Virginia. West Virginia is among the states with the highest incidence of obesity and heart disease. Walking for as little as 30 minutes, five times a week, will help reduce a person's risk for heart disease. More is better. Walking is easy, takes little time, helps people feel better, and gives them more energy.
Implementing the Wheeling Walks Model
To learn more about how to plan, implement, and evaluate the Wheeling Walks targeted physical activity public health model, please refer to our Training Manual for a Media-Based Community Campaign for Walking. (To view the manual, please click the "Manual" link on the website.) The two Wheeling Walks television, radio, and print ads are also available at this site.
Since the ads were developed by Zimmerman and Markman of Santa Monica, CA, you must contact Bill Zimmerman at 310-451-2522 to arrange to use the ads in your community campaign. There are fees associated with use of the ads.
Behind the Scenes
Directed by Dr. Bill Reger-Nash, Professor of Community Medicine at West Virginia University, WV WALKS is supported by the WV Bureau for Public Health, WVU Hospitals, WVU Health Sciences Center, The Dominion Post, Partners in Corporate Health, and community sources. The message that walking is an easy, inexpensive way to improve health will be aired through an extensive paid-advertising campaign on local television, along with radio advertising and print ads.