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Walk [UK] : KHP research project helps UK community walk their way to better health

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By Eric Monday

The University of Kentucky is undergoing a time of transformation. Each day we continue to build upon the physical structure of our campus; at the same time, we are building upon our priorities and goals. Students come first in all that we do at UK—this idea lays the foundation for our decisions. In order to serve them best, along with the rest of our community, we must also support health, wellness, sustainability, and community initiatives both on and off campus.

 

With that in mind, we are excited to introduce Walk[UK], a program that represents our commitment to wellness, sustainability and to building a stronger, healthier community.  Walk[UK] is part of Walk[Your City] — a multifaceted non-profit initiative — designed to improve a community’s walkability.

 

Walk[UK] encourages students, faculty, staff, and visitors to engage in a healthier, more active lifestyle. Walk[UK] also supports the U.S. Surgeon General’s recent Call to Action to promote walking and walkable communities as a public health strategy.

 

I encourage everyone to look for the nearly 70 pedestrian Walk[UK] signs, which were installed on campus on October 19.  These signs display wayfinding information in terms of the walking distance in minutes from location to location on campus and nearby off-campus destinations with a focus on the Euclid Avenue corridor to encourage campus-community connections.

 

Walk[UK] design and implementation is being led by Dr. Mindy Ickes in the Kinesiology Department of the College of Education, who is making this the central hands-on research project for her graduate level course in health promotion this fall.  Dr. Ickes has 11 graduate students involved.

 

Funding for the campaign is provided by Parking and Transportation Services, with the goal of using the on-campus portion of the campaign and Dr. Ickes research to help promote walking as a viable form of transportation on campus, ultimately supporting a “Park Once” strategy for campus.

 

The Walk [UK] program represents another element of our Transportation Master Plan, which is aimed at improving access and mobility to, from, and around campus for all members of the UK community.

 

The program represents partnership and collaboration with our community.   For more information about this collaboration and Walk[UK] visit:

https://walkyourcity.org/campaigns/1473 ; and http://www.lexingtonky.gov/index.aspx?page=24&recordid=4919