I’m pleased to announce that the Akron-Summit County Public Library (Ohio) Science & Technology Division lead by Monique Mason has been awarded funding for a great community physical fitness project!
Background: Twenty-nine percent of Summit County residents are obese, slightly lower than the state-wide average of 30% 1. The obesity rate in the City of Akron averages 34.2%, with some census tracts as high as 44%. 2 All of these rates are higher than the national rate of 28.7%.
Summit County residents are poorer than the US average with a poverty rate of 14.8% compared to 12.7% national average. The City of Akron’s poverty rate is 26.5%, more than double the national average.3
Description: The Science & Technology Division of the Akron (Ohio)-Summit County Public Library plans to create a multi-week program of loaning wearable fitness trackers to groups of people for the purpose of encouraging a regular and sustained increase in physical activity. We will select groups of people from pre-existing community groups or groups selected for this purpose and treat them as a cohort – having them all at an initial program for instruction both on using the device and locating quality health information in support of increasing their activity levels as well as an initial “weigh-in” provided by students in the University of Akron’s Department of Sport Science & Wellness Education. We will encourage participants to return midway through the program to check their weight, discover some more resources, and provide fellowship, all in order to continue the momentum developed in the initial presentation and increase motivation. We will have a final session to weigh, encourage continued activity, and collect the trackers. We will encourage users to continue their healthy exercise habits and to connect with library staff on a regular basis after the project concludes. We will offer this program to several groups through 2018.