The pedometer challenge to promote the benefits of walking for health and fitness has struck a chord with residents of the southern Avon.

Community recreation officer, Paula Flinn, said that more than 65 people from York and 50 from Brookton had registered for the Active Avon Pedometer Challenge, which started on September 1 and will run for 25 days.

All the participants had to do was attach their pedometer and walk, walk, walk. The aim was to be as active as possible for the 25 days and to try to crown their town as the most active in the Avon, she said.

¡°There is more than $1,500 worth of prizes up for grabs for the most active participants, the most enthusiastic participants and the most consistent participants in each town,¡± Paula said.

The challenge was launched in York at an information presentation at the Shire office on August 28 when pedometers and log books were distributed. Participants also had the opportunity to have their measurements taken including heart rate, blood pressure and waist to hip ratio.

The challenge was in response to statistics that show over half the adults in the wheatbelt are overweight or obese. These factors can have a serious impact by increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, she said.

The Premier¡¯s Physical Activity Taskforce, WA Local Government Association along with the York and Brookton Shires, Lotterywest and Northam Sportspower had provided support and funding for the challenge, Paula said.

Lindsay McNeill


PHOTO ABOVE: York participants in the 2006 giant walk.