Gov. Branstad to declare October 9 as Healthiest State Walk Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Tim Albrecht   
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 12:56

What:  Gov. Terry Branstad will present a proclamation declaring October 9 as Healthiest State Walk Day and will officially introduce the 2013 Healthiest State Walk sponsors, including Delta Dental of Iowa, Mercy Health Network and UnityPoint, who will support the walk and the new Focus Five priorities.

Who: Speaker Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Delta Dental of Iowa Vice President of Public Affairs Suzanne Heckenlaible, UnityPoint CEO Bill Leaver, Mercy Cancer Center Medical Director Dr. Richard Deming, and Healthiest State Initiative Chairman Ric Jurgens will be available for interviews and photos.

When: Tuesday, October 8 at 9:15 a.m.

Where: Iowa State Capitol, West Terrace*, 1007 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines


The Healthiest State Initiative has set an ambitious goal for Iowa to become the healthiest state in the nation by 2016. Since the Initiative was launched in 2011, Iowa has improved from 19th to ninth in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Walking can help manage weight and improve strength and physical fitness. Walking also slows mental decline, improves sleep, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke.

Nearly 600,000 Iowans have participated in the Healthiest State Initiative’s walks in 2011 and 2012. This year, many organized Healthiest State walks will be held at noon on October 9, but walks are encouraged throughout the day. A kilometer is about 7.5 city blocks, a 12-minute stroll for the average walker. Walkers can sign up for the event at

Along with walking and remaining active, the Healthiest State Initiative has also identified five priority areas most likely to improve our state’s ranking:

  • Decrease the number of Iowans who smoke,
  • Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to five or more servings daily at least four days a week,
  • Increase the number of Iowans who are learning or doing something interesting every day,
  • Increase the number of Iowans who have visited the dentist in the last 12 months, and
  • Increase the number of working Iowans who feel their boss treats them like a partner at work

More information about the Focus Five priorities can be found at

*In case of inclement weather the event will be moved to the Rotunda of the Capitol.

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