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June 4, 2007
Pedometer lending program promotes physical activity
Libraries are now lending pedometers free of charge for a three-week period, just like a library book, to encourage people to get active. This is part of a new program called “Walk into Health” aimed at encouraging people to build physical activity into their daily lives. 12 libraries across Toronto are part of the program.

“50 per cent of adults living in Toronto are not physically active enough to maintain or improve their health,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “Being active just 30 to 60 minutes a day can make a big difference. The health benefits of walking include reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes as well as reduced anxiety, tension and depression.”

A pedometer is a small tool you wear when you walk that counts both your steps and the length of time you walk. The pedometer comes with a self-help kit for borrowers with information on setting walking goals, warm-up stretches and safety tips.

The public can borrow pedometers from the following Toronto Public Library branches: Albion, Bridlewood, Cedarbrae, Flemingdon Park, Kennedy/Eglinton, Lillian H. Smith, Malvern, Maria A. Shchuka, Morningside, Weston, York Woods and North York Central Library.

Walking is one of the easiest activities to begin regular physical activity and it’s a great way to spend time with family and friends while getting the benefit of exercise. Walking groups are being organized at various malls and community sites across the city. Walking with others increases motivation and enjoyment with becoming more physically active. Call 416-338-7600 to ask about a walking group near you.

Many malls and community buildings throughout Toronto will also encourage people to get active by participating in the “Step into Health” stair climbing program. When there is a clear choice between taking the elevator, escalator or stairs, signs will be posted that encourage everyone to “take the stairs.” Using the stairs burns twice as many calories as walking.

The partners in this Building Active Communities Project are: Culturelink, Ministry of Health Promotion, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Public Library and community volunteers.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974



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