THE HEALTHY SATURDAYS INITIATIVE

 

As Americans become more sedentary and childhood obesity becomes epidemic, we must provide every opportunity for our citizens to put healthy enjoyable recreation into their lives. Healthy Saturdays will double the opportunity for the public to safely ride, roll, run, or walk on a portion of JFK Drive in wonderful Golden Gate Park; to get healthy without a membership, a reservation, or a special invitation. HOW? By simply replicating the traditional auto free section of JFK found on Sundays on Saturdays as well.

Fact: Nearly half of American youth ages 12-21 are not vigorously active on a regular basis 1. Active transportation is not a major source of physical activity for youth, averaging eight minutes a day. This decrease in utilitarian walking has contributed to increases in body mass index and chronic health conditions. 22% of children 6 to 17 years olds are diagnosed as overweight 4, 16% are considered obese leaving them vunerable to hypertension, Type II diabetes, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease 3.34% of youth 12 to 21 can not pass a minimal fitness test, compared to 19% for adults 5.

What can the community do?
The Surgeon General recommends communities “create opportunities for physical activity that are enjoyable, that promote adolescents’ and young adults’ confidence in their ability to be physically active, and involve friends, peers, and parents 1.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that “a sizable research base exists that provides the empiric evidence that interventions at the community level can change community-wide behaviors,” and “recommend that policy makers from local, state, and national organizations and schools support a healthful lifestyle for all children, including proper diet and adequate opportunity for regular physical activity 4.”

Healthy Saturdays will not reduce access to the Park as no area affected is more than a four minute stroll from an open thoroughfare. It will create over a mile of public recreational space and encourage our citizens to put safe healthy recreation in their lives on a regular basis.

1 Report of the Surgeon General: Physical activity and Health, Adolescents and Young Adults, CDC 5/20/02
2 Preventing Chronic Desease, Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, April 2005
3 American Heart Association Guidelines for Primary Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Beginning in Childhood. (CIRCULATION, Feb 4, 2003)
4 The American Academy of Pediatrics (Vol. 112 No. 2 August 2003)
5 Journal of the American Medical Association 12.21.05

Which of these parks would you rather run, bike, skate, or just walk in?

How to support Healthy Saturdays?

e-mail your Supervisor (addresses linked), Download and printout our PDF and share it with friends, Get a button and ware it always!

 


1 Report of the Surgeon General: Physical activity and Health, Adolescents and Young Adults, CDC 5/20/02
2 Preventing Chronic Desease, Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, April 2005
3 American Heart Association Guidelines for Primary Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Beginning in Childhood. (CIRCULATION, Feb 4, 2003)
4 The American Academy of Pediatrics (Vol. 112 No. 2 August 2003)
5 Journal of the American Medical Association 12.21.05