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October 27, 2005
For immediate release

Read and Walk Program a Major Success

Community and Cultural Affairs

A partnership between the Provincial Library Service and the PEI Active Living Alliance is proving highly successful in helping Islanders increase physical activity levels. Read and Walk, launched in May, allows library patrons to loan pedometers from one of twenty-six library branches across the province. To date, more than 400 Islanders have participated in the six-week Read and Walk program.

“Participants in the program report that they feel more fit and that they are more aware of the benefits of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle,” says Honourable Elmer MacFadyen, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs. “Almost all participants say that they plan to continue to be active on their own following completion of the program – proof of the success of the Read and Walk program.”

Read and Walk is a six-week program which includes the use of a pedometer as well as a workbook on healthy lifestyles and a logbook to monitor progress.

The PEI Active Living Alliance recommends that people take 10,000 steps per day to stay healthy and physically fit. Participants in Read and Walk have tripled their steps through the six-week program. “This is a tremendous accomplishment – participants should be very proud of what they have been able to achieve in only six weeks,” said Ron Rice, President of the PEI Active Living Alliance. “On behalf of the alliance, I encourage all Islanders to visit their local library and join the Read and Walk program.”

Making programs available through the library system helps to increase access and reduce barriers – 94 per cent of respondents to a survey suggest that making pedometers available through the library make it more likely for people to participate in the program. “By delivering this program at the community level, we increase the likelihood that people will participate,” says Allan Groen, Provincial Librarian. “In addition to the Read and Walk program, libraries include a variety of resources to encourage healthy and active lifestyles.”

The Provincial Library Service will draw for free pedometers each week beginning November 4 and ending December 2. To be eligible for the draw, you must sign out a pedometer during November, or return a pedometer and complete a short survey.

Read and Walk is part of the PEI Stepping Out Program which is an initiative of the PEI Active Living Alliance in collaboration with the Provincial Department of Health and Social Services designed to increase the physical activity of Islanders.

Media Contact: Jennifer MacLeod
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