Clark County adds free exercise options to fight high obesity rate

So local health leaders want to find more free exercise options for residents.

As part of the Community Health Assessment process, several different groups have been created by the Clark County Combined Health District to combat obesity, including the nutrition, physical activity and chronic disease task forces.

This year, the district wants to create shared-use agreements with organizations in the community with exercise resources, such as a basketball court or a playground, said Sarah Dahlinghaus, a public health educator with the health district.

“We’re trying to get them to open their doors to community members,” she said, “If you’re not a member of the church or don’t frequent those agencies or organizations, people can still utilize those facilities.”

She hopes to have two to three agreements in place by the end of the year.

In 2014, the district received a Creating Healthy Communities grant, which created a dedicated staff position to focus on make healthy changes in the community. The state has programs in 23 counties designed to create a healthy culture and eliminate chronic diseases in those areas.

The grant led to several projects completed in 2015, including the Warder Fit Stop, a free exercise area constructed at a former vacant lot at 226 Warder St. The project was funded by a $20,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Health through the CHC program. It includes a chest press, leg extension and balance board.

For more on how local officials and residents are fighting obesity, read our full story in Sunday’s edition.

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