The results are in... the Arrowhead Region is active!
Nearly 500 people living in northeastern Minnesota responded to a survey this past spring from Carlton County Public Health and Human Services. The survey asked questions about the amount of routine physical activity people have in their daily li...
Nearly 500 people living in northeastern Minnesota responded to a survey this past spring from Carlton County Public Health and Human Services. The survey asked questions about the amount of routine physical activity people have in their daily lives and approaches communities use to encourage physical activity. The survey focused on six regional communities, including Carlton County - pilot area includes Carlton, Cloquet, Esko and Scanlon.
Some of the overall results that were discovered for our northeast region include:
- 60 percent of respondents listed exercise as their usual reason for walking;
- 80.91 percent listed they are physically able to walk for 25 or more minutes at one time;
- 43.84 percent of respondents listed it has been more than two years or never since the last time they rode a bicycle in their community;
- 58.40 percent of respondents listed their approximate travel time for their work commute was 15 minutes or less;
- When asked how they usually travel to work, 86.93 percent responded as using their personal vehicle;
- 50.93 percent responded they rarely or never walk during their breaks at work;
- Only 1.45 percent answered excellent and only 11.20 percent answered good when asked about the condition of the sidewalks in their community;
- 66.81 percent of respondents answered yes when asked, in their opinion, if community design influences how physically active people are - 20.04 percent were not sure; and
- 76.65 percent of respondents answered yes when asked if in their opinion, it would be possible to promote physical activity by building more sidewalks and bike ways.
Asking area citizens their opinions and perceptions regarding physical activity is one step of a larger initiative called North East Minnesota Active Living Community Vision Project. The purpose of this project is to have communities understand and embrace concepts that promote increased physical activity in the people's daily routine. The project is a partnership between county and reservation public health departments and the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC).
Research has identified characteristics of the built environment, i.e. sidewalks, lighting, close destinations for walking, safety and the like, that influence both recreational and travel-related physical activity. Neighborhood features can make physical activity more appealing, easier and more pleasant and thus more likely that people will be active. It is for this reason that the regional project came about.
The next step of the Active Living project is to analyze the data that was collected for this project. The group will then share the results with decision makers and interested community groups. Conversations will focus on how to support and make decisions that will enable people to be more active in their daily lives.
If you have interest in becoming involved or learning more, contact your local public health representative for the project, Joanne Erspamer, community health educator, Carlton County Public Health and Human Services, at 218-879-4511.