Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Get Active, Get Healthy LA" Summit Held in LA County Today

For Immediate Release:
February 24, 2010

Get Active, Get Healthy LA!
Physical activity summit brings together businesses, communities and
other partners to fight obesity

LOS ANGELES - More than 100 community leaders and key stakeholders
attended the first ever countywide physical activity summit today.
"Get Active, Get Healthy LA!," held at the University of Southern
California Davidson Conference Center, brought together businesses,
community-based organizations, churches, schools and other agencies to
explore opportunities to increase physical activity in Los Angeles
County. The Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health and Parks
and Recreation, and the Los Angeles Collaborative for Healthy Active
Children led the summit.

"Physical activity contributes to health at every stage of life, from
the pre-school period to the elder years. It both reduces the risk of
many chronic diseases and improves quality of life for everyone," said
Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health
Officer for Los Angeles County.

"Lack of adequate physical activity is a serious risk factor for
obesity, which continues to be one of the most significant public health
threats facing our county. This summit is an excellent opportunity to
leverage resources and encourage partnerships among multiple
organizations throughout the county," said Dr. Fielding. "These
partnerships will broaden community interventions and policy changes to
help make physical activity an easier choice for all residents of LA

According to the 2007 Los Angeles County Health Survey, 22.9% of
children in 5th, 7th, and 9th grades are obese and 68.1% of adults are
overweight or obese. The survey also found that 36.2% of adults were
minimally active or inactive, and that 15.2% of children aged 6-17 were
inactive, meaning half of the county's nearly 10 million residents are
not reaching the recommended amounts of physical activity each week.

"Increasing physical activity levels is one of the most promising
strategies available for reducing the toll of obesity and chronic
diseases related to obesity, and for improving overall health," said
Dr. Fielding.

Stakeholders who participated in the summit are encouraged to adopt and
implement evidence-based strategies for increasing physical activity, as
recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the
Institute of Medicine. Recommended strategies include promoting physical
education and activity in schools, increasing access to locations that
facilitate physical activity such as parks, providing physical activity
education outside of schools, and motivating and providing support to
individuals through community-wide campaigns.

"Parks and Recreation professionals are in a unique position to
partner with other county leaders to marshal our resources and make a
proactive difference in the way people live their lives and how they
participate in physical activity," said Russ Guiney, Director of Parks
and Recreation. "We are proud to be one of the collaborators of the
"Get Healthy, Get Active LA!" initiative, and encourage our
colleagues in the Parks and Recreation industry throughout LA County to
get involved."

"Partnerships are crucial to the success of LA Collaborative member
programs, which struggle to meet their goals with limited resources,"
said Lauren Neel, Coordinator for the Los Angeles Collaborative for
Healthy, Active Children. "Being a part of the "Get Healthy, Get
Active LA!" initiative will enable our members to form new
partnerships and adopt strategies that will increase the reach of their
programs and improve physical activity promotion, especially for
low-income children and their families."

The next phase of the initiative will re-convene stakeholders in June
to exchange best practices and resources for more effective physical
activity promotion and integration opportunities, identify challenges
and address barriers, and explore strategies for integrating nutrition
education into physical activities.

For more information on the "Get Healthy, Get Active LA!"
initiative, visit

The "Get Active, Get Healthy LA!" Summit was sponsored by Anthem
Blue Cross, LA 84 Foundation, and the Los Angeles County Regional Park
and Open Space District. Summit participants included directors from
various Parks and Recreation facilities, the Aerobic Fitness Association
of America, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, American College of
Sports Medicine Southwest Chapter, American Diabetes Association,
American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Club of Burbank, California
State PTA, California State University Northridge, LA County Bicycle
Coalition, Phidippides Encino, Playworks, Safe Routes to School National
Partnership, Southern California Tennis Association, The Los Angeles
Sparks, Sports Club L.A., Umbral Yoga, World Fit for Kids, and Yoga

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and
improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles
County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and
services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control,
and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000
employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more
about Public Health and the work we do, please visit, visit our YouTube channel at, or follow us on Twitter:
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