For Immediate Release
Febuary 11, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461


Legislators Promote Physical Activity with 'What's Your Mile?'

Twelve state representatives and 17 legislative staff recently walked one mile around the Capitol in the 2008 Legislative Fitness Challenge’s pre-test, ‘What’s Your Mile?,’ an event sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Fitness and in support of the HealthyKansas initiative. ‘What’s Your Mile?’ is a timed one-mile walking test that is designed to measure the fitness level of participants. A post-test walk will be held on March 5 to determine improvements in fitness levels after completing the six-week fitness challenge.

The Kansas House of Representatives initiated a six-week legislative fitness challenge on January 15 among themselves after a successful inaugural event in 2007 pitted Kansas Senators against Representatives in a pedometer-based step contest to see who walked the most steps in a two-week period.

The Legislators that participated in this timed walk, which took 15-20 minutes to complete, were: Rep. Virginia Beamer, (R) District 118; Rep. Bob Bethell, (R) District 113; Rep. Elaine Bowers, (R) District 107; Rep. Doug Gatewood, (D) District 1; Rep. Tom Hawk, (D) District 67; Rep. Deena Horst, (R) District 69; Rep. Steve Lukert, (D) District 62; Rep. Peggy Mast, (R) District 76; Rep. Jill Quigley, (R) District 17; Rep. Don Schroeder, (R) District 74; Rep. Ed Trimmer, (D) District 78; and Rep. Vincent Wetta, (D) District 80.

“I’ve had great feedback from my fellow legislators who participated in the mile walk...even some who could not make it. One called and asked for the mile course layout so they could make the walk as the weather warms up,” said Rep. Tom Hawk, (D) Manhattan. “It is great to have a base line set and now a goal to improve my own personal time. Every little incentive helps when I am trying to establish some new fitness habits and making myself take the stairs as often as I can going from committee meetings in the Capitol and at Docking!”

The ‘What’s Your Mile?’ one-mile test can be found at www.healthykansas.org. This program was developed by the Governor’s Council on Fitness and is a unique site that helps to provide a gauge of fitness level after walking a measured mile.

“‘What’s Your Mile?’ is the first American effort to establish a medical ‘vital sign’ measuring and tracking fitness,” said Dr. Doug Iliff, a Governor’s Council on Fitness member, and co-creator of the program. “It is a test that anyone can do in their spare time. And it is more accurate and easy to duplicate than body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose measurements.”

For each level of fitness listed on the site, a walking program suggests a plan to lower their time and increase their fitness level. Participants should check with their primary care provider before engaging in any strenuous physical activity program.

On March 6, the Governor’s Council on Fitness will help support Public Health Day at the Capitol and recognize those legislators that have stayed active during this year’s Fitness Challenge and who participated in one or both of the ‘What’s Your Mile?’ events.

For more information about getting more physical activity, eating healthy and avoiding tobacco, go to www.healthykansas.org and take the HealthyKansas pledge.