Weight of the State
Integrating Physical Activities
ADHS Employees Make Healthy Changes
Arizona Department of Health Services employees have taken steps to make themselves healthier and shared their stories with their coworkers and ADHS' social media audience.
Matt Gainey, Newborn Screening
This employee got moving and never looked back, proving that making small changes can make getting healthy easy and fun, and before you know it you're looking and feeling better!
Matt Gainey, an administrative assistant of 4 years, saw the stagnant nature of his job getting to his health and energy and decided to do something about it. In his first-ever office job he found himself sitting for many hours a day, which started taking a toll on his body and spirit. After being overweight for much of his life, he decided the only person who could motivate him to live healthier was himself.
There is now 55 continuous miles of shared-use paths through the cities of Tucson, Marana, and Oro Valley. Pedestrians, bikers, and horseback riders are now able to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about the hazards of automobiles. Collaboration between Pima County, Pima County Health Department, and the cities of Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson and South Tucson created the Loop that connects residents to where they work, learn, and play without the use of their car. One-third of the Tucson metro residents live within 1 mile of the Loop and can access more than 29 bus routes, 30 parks, and 500 miles of hiking and biking trails using the Loop. The Loop is a tremendous asset with plans to grow and benefit residents for years to come.
From Schoolyard to Playground
Children and families need places and opportunities to be physically active outside of school hours as part of a healthy lifestyle. Children who are physically active are healthier and more successful in school. Today, too many children are getting too little exercise. One way to increase opportunities for physical activity is to ensure that existing recreational facilities, such as school playgrounds, are open to the public during non-school hours. One of the main reasons why school grounds are off limits after school and on weekends is due to liability. A national survey in underserved communities found that 83% of school administrators were somewhat to very concerned about liability should someone be injured.
With support from the Children's Action Alliance and the Arizona Chapter of the American Heart Association, Governor Jan Brewer, on March 13, 2012, clarifying the limits to liability schools face when opening their outdoor facilities for recreation. Arizona lawmakers are hoping that in exchange, more schools will open up their gates allowing the neighborhood to use their school grounds to be more active.