Step Up Your Health, Doral!
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2016 Health United States report, those of Hispanic decent had a greater rate of obesity in every age category than those of non-Hispanic white decent and were 30% less likely to engage in active physical activity as non-Hispanic whites. Due to these statistics, Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez wanted to emphasize the importance of health in the predominately Hispanic city of Doral.
“Step Up Your Health, Doral!” was created as part of the Mayor’s Wellness Initiative to encourage the community to get healthier together. The program has three parts:
Step Challenge- The Step Up App can be downloaded on any phone for free and automatically tracks the participant’s steps. To keep participants motivated, local restaurants offer discounts to participants and incentives for certain milestones.
Free Programming- Participants are offered free fitness classes, seminars, health screenings, cooking classes, and several other programs. Programs are offered for free and are held at different parks throughout the city to ensure that the programs are accessible to every resident.
City Employee Wellness Challenge– City employees take part in a 10-week Wellness Challenge where they are encouraged to participate in employee-only fitness classes and compete in bi-weekly weigh-ins.
Health Champions (resident leaders) and advisory boards have given input on how to promote “Step Up Your Health, Doral!” to the community. Promotional tables and materials are being placed in front of community centers, in community gyms and playgrounds, and in neighborhood associations’ monthly newsletters. City staff have put tables outside of Publix to talk to shoppers about a healthier shopping list and healthy recipes before they go into the store. There is also the Mayor’s Wellness Council that is comprised of people within the community that promote and drive the health initiative. Members include restaurants, businesses, health providers and schools. This council helps provide incentives, programming, and promotion of the initiative.
Doral, FL- 2019 AAC Finalist: Presentation
Parks and Recreation Director