For Immediate Release
April 4, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Capital City Wellness Project Launched

About 35,000 employees of state and local government and businesses who work in downtown Topeka will have the opportunity to participate in a new initiative to promote physical activity and improved nutrition.

The Capital City Wellness Project, launched on Friday, April 4, will promote physical activity and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables through monthly themed walks, fun activities on the Capitol lawn, and cooking events at the Wednesday Farmers’ market. The project will focus on topics such as reducing stress through physical activity, how to select, store, and prepare a variety of fruits and veggies, and more.

The project is funded by the Sunflower Foundation, led by delegates from approximately 35 downtown Topeka organizations and coordinated by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) as part of the Governor’s HealthyKansas Initiative.

Agency and business leaders took the first walk on Friday to demonstrate their support of employees who wish to make physical activity during breaks a part of their daily routine.

“Personal wellness involves eating right and participating in physical activity,” stated Jennifer Church, Nutrition and Physical Activity Coordinator with the KDHE Office of Health Promotion. “In general, people should be active for at least 30 minutes and consume a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.”

According to the 2006 Kansas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey, more than 60 percent of Kansans are overweight or obese, 51 percent do not participate in the recommended amount of physical activity, and 80 percent do not consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Exercise and eating the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and many types of cancer.

The Capitol Midweek Farmer’s Market is part of the Capital City Wellness Project and features locally grown produce within walking distance of downtown businesses. The Farmer’s Market is open every Wednesday, from May 21 to October 15, between 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of 10 th Ave. and S.W. Jackson St. on the Capitol grounds.

To learn more about the Capital City Wellness Project, please visit For more information about getting more physical activity, eating healthy and avoiding tobacco, go to and take the HealthyKansas pledge.

Note to editors/reporters: The following businesses and organizations have pledged support to the Capital City Wellness Initiative:

  • Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Kansas
  • City of Topeka
  • Downtown Topeka, Inc.
  • Field of Greens and The Breakroom
  • Graphic Arts of Topeka
  • Great Plains Running Company
  • Health Works, Inc.
  • Hills Pet Nutrition
  • Jayhawk File Express
  • Kansas Association of Local Health Departments
  • Kansas Dept. of Agriculture
  • Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment
  • Kansas Dept. of Social and Rehabilitative Services
  • Kansas Dept. of Transportation
  • Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks
  • Kansas Recreation and Parks Association
  • Kansas State University Research & Extension-Shawnee Co.
  • Kansas Trails Council
  • League of Kansas Municipalities
  • Shawnee County Health Association
  • St. Francis Hospital
  • Stephen Smith Images
  • Sunflower Foundation
  • Topeka Blueprint
  • Topeka Capital-Journal
  • Topeka Chamber of Commerce
  • Topeka Metro News
  • Topeka Shawnee County Public Library
  • Vision Bank
  • Westar Energy
  • YMCA Downtown
  • YWCA Downtown