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Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation and Walk in the Park Join a Nationwide Initiative to Increase Physical Activity Across America

Chapel Hill residents encouraged to participate in Walk in the Park!

Post Date:06/16/2017 12:31 PM

walkingcouple_parkChapel Hill, NC: Do you have arthritis and need an incentive to walk more? Thanks to a newly formed partnership between the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and Walk with a Doc (WWAD), Chapel Hill residents now have a new opportunity to get active and fit. The Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department introduces a new initiative to promote healthy living, called A Walk in the Park!. Chapel Hill is one of ten cities participating in the launch of this new initiative, which aims to increase physical activity in communities through participation is local parks and recreation.

Here in Chapel Hill, healthcare providers from WWAD-Chapel Hill, a proven arthritis intervention program developed by the Arthritis Foundation, will host events, inviting patients and other community members to go on a group walk together at a local park. While walking, healthcare providers will present a short presentation on a popular health topic, and offer the opportunity for the group to address health-related questions of any providers, researchers, and staff from UNC’s Thurston Arthritis Research Center, Department of Orthopedics, and the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance.

Any patient with arthritis or at risk of developing arthritis is also encouraged to participate in The Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department for the Walk in the Park Program, where they will be introduced to Walk With Ease (WWE). Led by trained and certified instructors, WWE is scientifically proven to help reduce the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. This program is also great for individuals of all ages looking to engage in a simple and low-impact walking program. For walk times, please visit

“We value creating new partnerships that help encourage citizens to get out and recreate more and we have been very interested in partnering with local health care providers.  We’re excited that the NRPA chose us to partner with Walk with a Doc - Chapel Hill, UNC’s Thurston Arthritis Research Center and the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance. This will be a great new program to expand on opportunities for Chapel Hill Community members to enhance their lives,” said Jim Orr, Director for Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation

Twenty-eight percent of Americans, or 80.2 million people, ages six and older are physically inactive. Individuals looking to improve their overall health are encouraged to walk at least 30 minutes a day at their local park. Walking reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, reduces strokes (up to 50 percent), reduces pain and disability, and increases the sense of well-being. To learn more about the benefits of walking, visit  

About Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department

The Town of Chapel Hill is nationally regarded for its quality of life. Public parks and recreation are the gateways to a healthier, more livable community. In addition to our parks, trails, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation offers a myriad of recreation programs and cultural activities for all ages and social backgrounds. Our mission to enliven our community by providing exceptional service, creating inclusive and cultural experiences, while nurturing beautiful, sustainable spaces. For more info log onto

About The National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of nearly 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

About Walk with a Doc

Walk with a Doc is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages, and reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle to improve the health and well-being of the country. Walk with a Doc was started in 2005 by David Sabgir, MD, a board-certified cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio, who practices with the Mount Carmel Health System. Walk with a Doc has grown as a grassroots effort, with a model based on sustainability and simplicity, currently serving 307 communities nationwide. The Chapel Hill Chapter of WWAD is co-hosted by UNC’s Thurston Arthritis Research Center and the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance. Monthly walks start from the UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont. To learn more, visit
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