For Immediate Release
May 20, 2011

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

KDHE and Capital City Wellness Coalition to hold community Health and Wellness Fair

On Wednesday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Capital City Wellness (CCW) coalition will host a community-wide downtown Topeka health and wellness fair. The fair will be held on the south lawn of the Capitol and is open to the public, the downtown Topeka community and State of Kansas employees.

The fair will feature more than 30 area health and wellness groups and will offer educational resources and interactive screenings and demonstrations. Attendees will have the opportunity to receive free screenings or assessments for strength, blood pressure, brain fitness, percentage of body fat, body mass index, vision, hearing, blood sugar, balance, asthma and lung function. The fair will highlight workplace wellness practices including health education, chronic disease management techniques, increased physical activity and access to healthy foods during the workday.

“KDHE encourages employers to move towards comprehensive worksite wellness programs,” said KDHE Secretary Dr. Robert Moser. “In the meantime, simple changes like promoting walking during lunch breaks, improving food options in cafeterias and vending machines, and encouraging employees to attend the free Capital City Wellness health and fitness events and Capitol Midweek Farmers’ Market, will benefit both employers and employees. The workplace provides a daily opportunity to talk about, learn and practice healthy behaviors – all of which will help to foster better health for working Kansans.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Chronic diseases account for 70 percent of all deaths in the U.S. and more than 75 percent of health care costs are due to chronic conditions. According to the 2009 Kansas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (KS BRFSS) the prevalence of adult obesity in Kansas has doubled in the last 17 years, rising from 13 percent in 1992 to 29 percent in 2009. Also according to the 2009 KS BRFSS, it is estimated that approximately 180,000 adult Kansans have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Because many adult Kansans spend one third of each day in the workplace, KDHE and CCW support downtown Topeka employers in their efforts to create work environments that make the healthy choice the easy choice for their employees during the workday.

The partnership between KDHE and Capital City Wellness is founded on a unified mission to increase physical activity and access to healthy foods for all members of the downtown Topeka community. CCW is a coalition of over 35 downtown Topeka employers. CCW offers free fitness events in various downtown Topeka locations. CCW also partners with KDHE to facilitate the Capitol Midweek Farmers’ Market which is held every Wednesday from May 18 to October 12 in front of the Capitol on the north side of 10th avenue. For more information about free fitness events or the Capitol Midweek Farmers’ Market please visit: www.capitalcitywellness.org.

In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, the health and wellness fair will be rescheduled at the same time and location for Wednesday, June 15.