Tens of thousands of students from more than 230 schools statewide danced the Cupid Shuffle Thursday to celebrate the first West Virginia Physical Activity Day.
While the celebration was a jovial one to launch West Virginia Physical Activity Plan at the Capitol, the plan itself aims to diminish serious health issues by supporting healthy living and to increase the quality of life for every West Virginian.
A few dozen students danced at the Capitol with Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.
He said he hoped to play a small part in promoting healthy living among today’s children, who through the availability of video games and other technology don’t seem to be as physically active as previous generations.
“Anything that gets you up off the couch and just stay active, it would be great for your longevity and health,” Murphy said.
According to the latest state Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 31 percent of West Virginians report no leisure time physical activity — such as running, golf, gardening or walking for exercise — in any given month. That’s the fifth highest percentage in the United States, where the national average is 25.5 percent.
More reasons to get moving — West Virginia has the highest prevalence of cardiovascular disease and strokes, while ranking second in the nation for diabetes and smoking and third for obesity.
West Virginians have made significant strides since the mid-1990s, when physical inactivity peaked at 45.3 percent of residents. But the percentage has grown since 2004, when it bottomed out at 24.5 percent.
The West Virginia Activity Plan, modeled after a national plan called 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for All Americans, is expected to increase physical activity levels of children and adults through “the establishment of a culture that facilitates physically active lifestyles in every societal sector and geographic region.”
The 43-page plan seeks to build partnerships among schools, communities and park systems. Among other things, it encourages sidewalk improvements, increasing the number of bike racks at schools and accessibility to trails that connect to neighboring communities. For students, one of the goals is to diversify and maximize physical education offerings, both during and after school.
The plan calls for public policies such as tax incentives for businesses including sporting goods stores and fitness centers, and wellness programs in which participants meet clinically significant goals.
It urges government agencies to allocate funds for resources, although it doesn’t seek specific amounts.
“We’re going to review the plan and find out what opportunities there are,” said state Sen. Ron Stollings, a Boone County physician and chairman of the Senate Health and Human Resources committee.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin came up with one quick idea — parents should take their kids outside after the next winter storm to build snowmen, have snowball fights or explore their neighborhoods by foot. He also encouraged older residents to seek out their local senior centers to socialize and get fit.
The West Virginia Association of Counties created a resolution advocating physical activity for county commissions to adopt. To date, 35 of West Virginia’s 55 counties have adopted the resolution including Fayette, Greenbrier, Monroe, Nicholas, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming counties.
— Reporter Sarah Plummer contributed to this report.
- Latest News
- Unique sunflower
How much will annexation cost?
City of Beckley officials say annexation would provide many benefits to outlying residents, but exactly how much would annexation cost?
Not in my backyard: U.S. sending fossil fuel abroad
As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution.
Greenbrier PSD officials worried about State Fair tunnel project
Plans to raise a section of U.S. 219 and construct a tunnel underneath for the passage of State Fair pedestrians provided a hot topic for discussion at Friday’s meeting of the Greenbrier Public Service District No. 1 board.
Beckley man places second in three-day world horseshoe tourney in Buffalo, N.Y.
One Beckley man knows a thing or two about pitching a horseshoe. He’s been throwing for decades and he’s been to a handful of world tournaments. Recently he placed second in the 2014 World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament.
- Saintly garb
Tunnel reopens after fire
Traffic on Interstate 77 was still backed up about 14 miles in Bland County, Va., Saturday evening, but the Virginia Department of Transportation reported at about 6 p.m. that both northbound lanes of I-77 through East River Mountain were open to traffic.
Bluefield firefighters first ones on the scene
Lights in the southern end of the tunnel illuminate an odd design beside the catwalk near the left lane of the northbound tube of the East River Mountain Tunnel that transports I-77 from Virginia into West Virginia. Two firefighters who made the initial assault through the total darkness of the soot and smoke-filled tunnel left those marks as they slid their arms along the catwalk wall on their journey back to the light.
Internet service providers talk shop at Broadband Summit
Call it the Internet 101.
West Virginia’s Internet service providers, with the help of Mike Holstine, explained how end-users in homes and businesses get the Internet, how and why they use it and the benefits of having high-speed Internet for everybody.
Fire closes I-77 for hours
East River Mountain Tunnel was engulfed in a cloud of black smoke Friday as a result of a tractor-trailer fire inside the tunnel that ignited just after 3 p.m.
- More Latest News Headlines