Healthy Schools Healthy Communities (HSHC) is spearheading a “Missouri Livable Streets” initiative to increase awareness of the importance of promoting a healthy, vibrant community that provides safe, accessible places for people to bike, walk and exercise.
A meeting to discuss the Missouri Livable Streets policy (which HSHC is proposing for Houston) is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at the Texas County Health Department. Local leaders and residents are invited to learn more about the policy, and a light meal will be provided.
HSHC officials say that where it’s implemented, Livable Streets “supports improving sidewalks, crosswalks, medians and other road features so people have safe places to walk, bike and exercise.”
“Many rural communities across the state have seen a rise in diabetes and obesity rates, leading some to explore ways to support healthier lifestyles,” said HSHC community wellness coordinator Earlene Stoops. “Simple projects like improving sidewalks or adding crosswalks not only provide a safer way for people to exercise, but also look attractive to funders when planning larger community improvement projects,”
Texas County’s prevalence rate for diabetes is 10.7 percent and for obesity is 32.6 percent – higher than the state average.
“Being physically active plays a large role in preventing and managing chronic diseases like these,” Stoops said. “Additionally, improved infrastructure provides safer alternatives for people who are in wheelchairs or have other impairments.”
For more information, call Stoops at 417-967-4131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.