Indiana stimulus money for new jobs could step up physical activity

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The federal stimulus money invested in Indiana’s natural resources may not only stimulate the economy but also people’s interest in physical activity, says a Purdue University public health expert.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced last week that more than $20 million in federal stimulus money will be used to hire more than 2,000 young adults for the Young Hoosiers Conservation Corps program, which is aimed at improving parks and trails.

Stimulus money will be used to hire more than 2,000 young adults for the Young Hoosiers Conservation Corps program, which is aimed at improving parks and trails like the Charlestown State Park in Southern Indiana.

Stimulus money will be used to hire more than 2,000 young adults for the Young Hoosiers Conservation Corps program, which is aimed at improving parks and trails like the Charlestown State Park in Southern Indiana.

“There is growing evidence that environmental opportunities are important for encouraging more individuals to engage in healthy, active lifestyles,” says Philip Troped, an assistant professor of health and kinesiology whose research focuses on how neighborhood environments influence physical activity. “Examples of environmental design that can influence physical activity include how we construct our neighborhoods, transportation systems, commercial centers, schools, and recreational facilities, such as parks and trails. Encouraging people, community leaders and policy-makers to think about such factors is a step toward making physical activity more accessible and getting more people to incorporate physical activity in their daily routines.”

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published physical activity guidelines for all Americans last fall. The recommendations indicate that adults should get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, and youth should accumulate 60 minutes of activity daily. For adults, this activity should be in bouts of at least 10 minutes.

“The reality is that every person is not going to be able go to the gym five days a week to meet these recommendations, so we need to create safe, accessible neighborhood environments that support routine physical activities, such as walking on sidewalks and on nearby community trails,” Troped says.

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 December 2018
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