Franklin - Breakfast with the Mayors promotes Get Fit Franklin project
By Carole Robinson, Staff Writer
When it comes to healthy living, Tennessee ranks pretty low. Conversely, Williamson County is the healthiest county in the state. At Tuesday morning’s Breakfast with the Mayors presented by Franklin Tomorrow, Healthways representative Katie Turner provided statistics from a survey that equates the affect of overall health on businesses.
The results, “As the well-being score increases, claim costs decrease at a much higher level,” said Turner. “As well-being scores increase, team efficiency increases, leadership scores increase, production skyrockets. Folks that have well-being are more productive and show leadership.”
Franklin Tomorrow announced a partnership with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the City of Franklin and other businesses to launch Get Fit Franklin, Saturday Nov. 17 in Pinkerton Park.
Get Fit Franklin is a distance walking project designed to encourage residents to take the first steps toward a healthier, more active life style.
In an effort to increase the level of activity, the program will provide Franklin residents with pre-measured and marked walking routes using existing sidewalk networks.
“Developing walking routes is the first step to a healthy, active community,” said Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore.
Health has been at the forefront in recent years, Moore added.
“The United States spends more on health care than any other country and we don’t see good results,” Moore said. “Good health is on our minds but I’m not sure it’s in our actions. How and who pays is not enough, attention needs to be focused on personal responsibility.”
This is an opportunity for Franklin to create initiatives that provide the opportunity, through land use and planning, for residents to walk more and drive less, Moore added.
“Studies show a walkable community is a healthier community,” Moore said.
Franklin has a reputation of being a safe, walkable community, but sprawl is our shortfall and, “We like to drive,” Moore said.
“Schools are the incubator for good health practices,” he added. “Franklin, let’s get fit!”
County Mayor Rogers Anderson, proclaiming himself “the poster child for bad health,” announced Williamson County’s recent purchase of 75 acres in the southern part of the county to be added to the county parks system. The rock quarry included in the purchase will provide actual rock wall climbing opportunities and additional ball fields.
“We are excited about this purchase,” Anderson said.
Doug Hood, director of Williamson County Parks and Recreation is also working on a program to bring city residents to the country where they will learn to plant, care for and reap produce from their own garden.
“As part of our commitment to wellness, BlueCross is proud to partner with Franklin Tomorrow on the Get Fit Franklin initiative,” said Scott Karner, Large Group Account Executive for BlueCross. “Engaging our communities to lead healthier, more active lifestyles is an important step in addressing the trends of obesity and other serious health issues and the associated rising costs for care.”
Initially, walking routes are focused on three areas of the city using existing sidewalk networks considered very walkable routes and provide access to Franklin and Williamson County park facilities and other trail networks. Additional routes will be added and a website currently under construction – www.getfitfranklintn.org – will soon provide maps of walking routes and information for program participants to join walking groups.
Posted on: 10/3/2012