Active Communities: Active By Design & Walkable
Thurston County is trying to increase levels of physical
activity among local residents. Walking is one of the
easiest ways to be moderately physically active. Health
professionals recommend engaging in moderate physical
activity for 30 minutes a day, at least 10 minutes at a time, 5 or
more days per week.
If more people walked each day, for exercise, commuting,
errands or short trips in town, or even a stroll for fun,
our community would be on the path to better health. Walking
can reduce or delay the onset of life threatening chronic
diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
Some of the reasons people are not getting enough regular
physical activity in Thurston County are the environments
where people live or work and the walking conditions in
What is Thurston County Public Health Doing?
Thurston County partners with Thurston Regional Planning
Council and Woodland Trail Greenway Association to identify
ways to foster active community environments through land
use and community design changes. This Active by Design
project works on policy development and supports
neighborhoods with walkability asset mapping and local
efforts to improve connectedness.
Thurston County has worked with
neighborhoods to conduct walkability assessments around the
county, through the "Walkable Places Project." The
walkability assessment gathers and organizes data that can
be used to prioritize projects identifying issues in the
neighborhood area that impede or promote physical activity.
It also gets people out walking, learning about their
neighborhood, and taking action to make it a more walkable
place. Thurston County Public Health and Social Services
also works with local partners on
Safe Routes to Schools projects to encourage more
walking and bicycling to school.
These projects follow recommended approaches in the
Washington State Department of Health’s Physical Activity
plan and are consistent with the recommendations from the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for
evidence-based practice to increase physical activity. To find out
more about walkability assessments and the active
communities efforts in general, please contact us at (360)
Reducing sedentary behavior and increasing moderate physical
activity has been shown to reduce the risk of Type 2
Diabetes and also helps prevent obesity.
Research has shown that residents in highly walkable
neighborhoods engage in as much as 70 more minutes per week
of physical activity when compared to residents living in
less walkable neighborhoods.
In 2005, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey
completed in Thurston County with adults (age 18+) showed
that 54% of adults did not achieve the recommended amount of
daily moderate physical activity (around 94,500 adults).
Walkable Places Project Partners
|Eastside Neighborhood Association
||Grand Mound Rochester Park
|Northeast Neighborhood Association
||Rochester Organization of Families
|South Westside Olympia Neighborhood Association
||Yelm Community Schools
You Community Partners!