View Full Version : Tulsa mayor announces fitness challenge

10-22-2008, 07:28 AM
Sound familiar?

Mayor launches initiative to get Tulsans in shape
Journal Record
October 22, 2008

TULSA – The city has received a challenge: Shape up.

Tulsa Million Miles is a new initiative designed to get Tulsans fit one mile at a time. The goal is for the Tulsa community to surpass 1 million miles together.

Mayor Kathy Taylor announced the launch of at a Tuesday press conference. On the Web site Tulsans can track their miles as they walk, run or bike.

The site also provides information on fitness events, trail maps and park locators.“We have a choice to make about our future and if we stand by it will be too late,” said Taylor.

“I looked at the health statistics for Tulsa, and saw how important it was for the community to become active. ”The state of Oklahoma ranks eighth in the nation for obesity, according to the nonprofit group Trust for America’s Health. In terms of overall health, the state ranks 42nd out of 50 states, said Gary Cox, executive director of the Tulsa Health Department. He said 65 percent of premature deaths and disabilities are due to three factors – tobacco, lack of physical activity and poor diet.

“With this initiative the mayor is attacking a significant factor to poor health,” he said. “This is about getting off the couch and getting your family to be active.

”Diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure are issues affecting the state, Taylor said. As a result, health care costs in the state are escalating. That has become a prime concern for the business community, she said. “We want to have employees lead healthier lives and lower the health care costs,” said Taylor.

“This is a way to tackle some of the health challenges of the state.”About three years ago Tulsa ranked No. 22 on the Fattest Cities list for Men’s Fitness magazine. But in 2008 Tulsa ranked No. 19 in the magazine’s 2008 Top Fittest Cities. Though Taylor said she is happy the city has made progress, she believes the initiative shows Tulsans value health.

“As businesses in our community work to attract work force, people will want to come to a community that prioritizes fitness,” she said. “This shows the community can work together and tackle challenges.”

Cox said the Tulsa Health Department is constantly working with the local business community to put health policies in place. “Good health is good business,” he said. “If people are healthy they’ll come to work and be productive.”

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett gathered nationwide attention when he started the OKC Weight Challenge. The challenge encouraged Oklahoma City citizens to collectively shed 1 million pounds.

Taylor said she was influenced by the Oklahoma City initiative, but stresses Tulsa’s program is different. It’s not just about weight lost, she said.“ I feel like ours is really focusing on getting people to be healthy and fit,” she said. “So you could say we’re providing some healthy competition for activity in OKC.”

Healthy and Fit Communities is the company that designed both the Oklahoma City and Tulsa health initiatives Web sites. Michael Panas, executive director of Healthy and Fit Communities, said since the Oklahoma City program was launched the company has designed similar health sites for several other cities across the country, in addition to one in Canada. The interactive Web sites help keep up the momentum of the programs, he said.

It’s the responsibility of businesses to encourage their employees to log on to the sites, said Panas.“Too often the health of an employee is secondary to the work,” he said. “Every business should incorporate some type of health strategy for employees.”

10-22-2008, 02:27 PM
Must... resist... temptation... but... can't.

Always gotta rip us off, I see. ;)

10-22-2008, 03:49 PM
I wonder where our Tulsa posters are..............