Catch the 'Walking Bus'


Published: Monday, January 7, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 7, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

A new "bus system" will soon be available on the University of Florida campus.

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The "Walking Bus" program kicks off on Jan. 16 at the Reitz Union Colonnade.

Come Jan. 16, faculty and students can join the "Walking Bus," a fun way to relieve stress, exercise and meet people.

Healthy Gators 2010, a coalition of University of Florida departments and organizations that strives to advance or improve the health of faculty, staff and students, is working on the "Walking Bus" program to help promote healthy living on campus.

The program is similar in concept to a regular bus but with people walking instead of riding. Several routes, stops and schedules will be identified so people can easily join a group of walkers to de-stress and exercise over their lunch hour.

The walking program is targeted to reduce and bring awareness to obesity and problems associated with being overweight.

Cassie Howard, director of Living Well and member of Healthy Gators 2010, is the project coordinator for the walking program.

Shirley Haberman, director of health promotions, said the "Walking Bus" concept was adapted from a program at the University of Pittsburgh that was started in September 2002.

The idea is that routes will be developed around campus where students and faculty can join "the bus," and walk together to the next stop.

The official kickoff for the program will be at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 16 at the Reitz Union Colonnade. The program is currently scheduled to run four days a week, according to Cher Harris, programming work group chair.

"Our ultimate goal is to increase activity, and it's a fabulous way to reduce stress and meet new friends," said Jane Emmeree, communications and public relations work group chair for Healthy Gators 2010.

"The 'Walking Bus' is a fun, exciting program for faculty, staff and students," Emmeree said. "I encourage everyone to get involved."

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