Local group starts work on a plan to increase physical activity community-wide

LiveWell Lawrence is spearheading work on a community plan to make it easier and more rewarding for people of all ages and abilities to live physically active lifestyles.

I reported here on a similar workgroup that aims to improve access to healthy foods.

The physical activity workgroup will build on the results of the Douglas County Community Health Assessment. The study showed that residents want their everyday environments--workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, streets and community--to better support active living.

Workgroup members include:

  • Aynsley Anderson, Lawrence Memorial Hospital
  • Cris Anderson, Kennedy Elementary principal
  • Hugh Carter, Lawrence City Commission
  • Rebecca Clancy, Douglas County Senior Services
  • Laurie Comstock, KU Endowment
  • Carolyn Crawford, WorkWell Lawrence
  • Scott Criqui, Trinity In-Home Care and Lawrence City Commission candidate
  • Liz Dobbins, KU Health and Exercise Sciences Dept.
  • Christina Holt, KU Work Group for Community Health and Development
  • Cindy Johnson, TherapyWorks
  • Steve Lane, Lawrence Central Rotary Club
  • Jamie Lloyd Simpson, KU Accessibility and ADA Education
  • Kevin Loos, City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
  • Vicki Lysen, Parks and Recreation instructor
  • Janelle Martin, Douglas County Community Health Improvement Partnership
  • Scott McCullough, Lawrence-Douglas County Planning and Development Services
  • Darryl Monteau, Board Member, USD 497 Native American Student Services-Indian Parent Committee
  • Mike Myers, Hernly Associates
  • Dot Nary, KU Research and Training Center on Independent Living
  • Ryan Neuhofel, NeuCare Family Medicine
  • Wayne Osness, retired KU faculty
  • Check Sepers, KU Work Group for Community Health and Development
  • Jennifer Smith, K-State Research and Extension Douglas County
  • Roger Steinbrock, Lawrence Parks and Recreation
  • Phil Struble, Landplan Engineering
  • John Wilson, Alliance for a Healthier Generation and KS legislature candidate

As I said about our food access group, changing environments and cultural norms is tough work. A host of barriers--economic, social, and institutional--may make progress slow. We certainly don't have all of the answers.

We'll be counting on Wellcommons readers to help us figure out how we can promote policies and environments that support physical activity. Please share your ideas and concerns here, or contact me at marilynhull@dccfoundation.org.

Tagged: LiveWell Lawrence, Community Health Assessment, physical activity


Robert Rauktis 6 years ago

So what's with the headline picture of the two compromised, I'd think, pedestrians in the crosswalk? Is this meant to be a message?

Marilyn Hull 6 years ago

I chose the picture deliberately to show that we are taking an inclusive approach. ALL people need easy and safe ways to be active.

I would argue that the crosswalk in the photo does not compromise the safety of these residents. Rather, it makes the street safe for them.

Charlie Bryan 6 years ago

The physical activity workgroup framed the goal of their efforts this way: To create an environment and culture, through policy and systems change, that makes physical activity easier and more rewarding for people of all ages and abilities.

Similar to the focus of the Lawrence Complete Streets initiative, this workgroup sees value in considering the needs of all residents of Douglas County.

MaryChap 6 years ago

Lawrence needs year-round access to indoor walking/running sites and more consistent support for Don Gardner's Dog Days program. We have to acknowledge our 5 months of impossible weather in any planning for recreation and exercise. (Boy, it's hard not to use the adjectives "widespread" and "broad-based" in that last sentence.)

Marilyn Hull 6 years ago

Mary: Just so I'm not making assumptions, what months do you view as having impossible weather?

Brenda Brown 6 years ago

Well done, Marylin. I think this is a terrific idea, if Independence, Inc. can help, please let me know!

Marilyn Hull 6 years ago

Thanks, Brenda. Bob Mikesic and Ranita Wilkes were very helpful with our Complete Streets campaign. I'm sure you will be hearing from us again.

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