The Tulane University Prevention Research Center (PRC) is encouraging residents of New Orleans to walk more with a new campaign that highlights maps of walking routes throughout the city’s Ninth Ward.
An outdoor advertising campaign using billboards, bus shelters and street poles is underway as part of a five-year initiative called Movin’ for LIFE (Lasting Improvements for Fitness and Energy). The initiative is led by PRC with input from local residents, churches and organizations.
The maps created by Movin’ for LIFE are posted on the program website and social media. Printed copies are being distributed throughout the neighborhood thanks to more than 40 businesses, offices and organizations that have agreed to spread the word as Movin’ for LIFE Program Champions.
“We want to encourage neighbors to try walking or continue walking for their health and to build community.”
Revonda Darensbourg, Movin’ for LIFE program manager
“We want to encourage neighbors to try walking or continue walking for their health and to build community,” said Revonda Darensbourg, Movin’ for LIFE program manager at the Tulane PRC. “Walking is one of the best ways to get regular physical activity. It’s low-impact, doesn’t require special equipment and can be done alone or in groups.”
To determine if the promotions are effective, Tulane graduate students recorded observations of the residents’ outdoor physical activity in 2016. Additional observations will be made in the future.
Observing physical activity provides information about the use of recreational spaces in the neighborhood, said Michelle Pyne, a Movin’ for LIFE coalition member and director of Global Green USA’s New Orleans office.
“In the past, we have anecdotal evidence of the use of environmental resources,” Pyne said. “We’ve had to defend the Mississippi River levee as a public space because it’s such a great asset for everyone here and adds to quality of life.”
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