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image Hunter Eisenbrandt walks to an after-school study spot and then soccer practice. Students are encouraged to be more active during “Walktober.”

October 3, 2013
Live Fit Tooele County starts walking campaign to help kids fight obesity

Live Fit Tooele County hopes a month-long campaign in local schools will enable elementary students to become “walk and roll stars.”

During “Walktober,” Tooele elementary students who walk or bike to school for at least 75 percent of October—about 23 of 31 days—will be entered to win prizes from the Live Fit coalition. Students who cannot walk or bike to school may participate by exercising for 30 minutes outside school hours.

Four district schools—East, Harris, Stansbury and Settlement Canyon—are actively participating in the campaign, but students from all Tooele elementaries are welcome to participate independently by downloading a worksheet from the Live Fit website at tooelehealth.org/livefittc and turning it in to the health department when complete, Malaena Toohey, director of the Live Fit Tooele County coalition, said in an email.

Students are especially encouraged to walk to school for International Walk to School Day on Oct. 9. Those who are unfamiliar with walking routes to their elementary school should check for designated safe walking routes, which are available online from the Tooele School District’s website.

The “Walktober” campaign and all the associated activities part of an ongoing effort by Live Fit Tooele County to increase physical activity in elementary age students. According to a 2011 study, Tooele County leads the state for teen obesity. An estimated 10 percent of adolescents in Tooele are considered obese, compared to the state-wide rate of 7.5 percent. In the next highest county, Weber, about 8.9 percent of teens are overweight.

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