Mayor Michael A. Nutter and City officials launched PhillyPowered, a multi-media campaign designed to encourage Philadelphians to become more physically active in an effort to reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease among residents. Of the nation’s ten largest cities, Philadelphia has the highest rates for these chronic diseases.
“Too many of our friends and neighbors are suffering from diseases that could have been avoided by eating healthier foods and exercising more,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “We are inviting and encouraging every Philadelphian to join us in the campaign to save lives by becoming more fit. PhillyPowered is designed to inspire all of us to be more physically active. We can use our city’s vast array of parks, trails and sidewalks to make fitness easy and even fun.”
The 18-month campaign will feature radio commercials as well as outdoor billboards and advertisements at transit stops. The campaign will showcase the stories of real Philadelphians who are finding their own unique ways to get moving, and who have taken on the role of ‘health ambassadors’. These health ambassadors will share their successes, but also the setbacks and failures that occur along their journeys to better health for themselves and their families.
“We know there are challenges that make it difficult for some people to be as active as they would like,” said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. James A. Buehler. “But working together as a community we can make a difference in each other’s lives. We can support one another, and we can encourage one another to find ways to fit fitness into our lives. This initiative will help us to do that.”
The campaign features a website, www.PhillyPowered.org, which includes a database that lists hundreds of free or low-cost places to get fit in the city. The website also features iconic city locations and neighborhood resources.
“Our city is loaded with places and opportunities that can be taken advantage of by people who want to get into shape,” said Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental & Community Resources. “If you don’t belong to a gym, the entire city – with all of its parks, rec centers and trails that are maintained by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation – is now open for business as your personal gym.”
In addition to a social media component through which Philadelphians can share tips about how to fit exercise into their busy lives, the website also contains information about healthy levels of physical activity. It includes information in both English and Spanish.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get an average of at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. PhillyPowered will build on past city accomplishments, including infrastructure to support walking and running, more than 25 miles of new bike lanes, and safety enhancements for 200 high-risk intersections. This work builds on the city’s efforts to improve access to healthy foods, including its healthy corner store network, neighborhood farmers markets, and efforts to decrease consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and salt.