University of Pittsburgh
September 5, 2006

Pitt Encourages Pittsburghers to Get Moving With a Walk Around the Town to Kickoff America on the Move

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Walk, walk, walk around the town as part of the University of Pittsburgh's America on the Move in Pittsburgh. The walking event, the first outdoor effort to get Pittsburghers moving, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 13 beginning at the Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard, 436 Grant St., and ending at the Market Square stage.

John M. Jakicic, associate professor and director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at Pitt, said the goal is to make Pittsburgh "the healthiest city in the nation."

Pitt along with sponsors UPMC Health Plan, HJ Heinz, Del Monte, and KDKA-TV launched the America on the Move communitywide initiative with a Web site Aug. 28.

"This is a call to action," said Jakicic. "We are combining the necessary tools with the implementation steps to help individuals make meaningful lifestyle changes related to activity, diet, and body weight."

Ken Rice and Patrice King Brown of KDKA-TV will welcome participants, and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato will deliver an America on the Move in Pittsburgh proclamation. The walk will begin at 12:15 p.m., led by Leslie Sansone, "In-Home Walking" program originator and owner of Studio Fitness in New Castle, and Jennifer Antkowiak, formerly with KDKA-TV and now executive director of promotions, marketing, and multimedia for Sansone.

Pittsburghers can register for America on the Move by going to www.americaonthemove.org and clicking on the following prompts:

o Select "Get Involved Today";

o Under "Individual," select "Full Access"; and

o Complete the registration page for Step 1 and Step 2.

Individuals who carry the UPMC Health Plan can receive additional benefits. These individuals should enter the code "UPMC" as the Group Registration Code on the registration pages, and enter the UPMC Health Plan ID number from their health plan card when prompted.

The site encourages participants to log in daily to record the number of steps they have walked that day, as well as prompting them to enter their weight weekly. Every Monday a new motivational and educational "Step to Better Health" will be posted.

"We're actually going to be able to have measurable outcomes, and we will be able to track for the first time how we are improving as a community. That has never been done before," said Jakicic. "We will actually know if we are becoming a healthier community."

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