Penn State Fayette instructor 'walks the talk' for a healthy community

August 03, 2006

Uniontown, Pa. -- As the physical education instructor at Penn State Fayette, Jes Hutson normally teaches health, wellness and fitness to Penn State students. On Aug. 18, however, Hutson, along with the Collins family of Connellsville, will walk from Uniontown to Harrisburg for the "Walk the Talk" trek to the steps of the Capitol Building.

The walk is intended to be a unique opportunity to increase awareness in the area of obesity, in particular childhood obesity. Walk team member Janice Collins will be one of Hutson's wellness students at Penn State Fayette this fall, and her daughter Ashley was one of his students last summer.

"This event demonstrates how local initiative and cooperation can increase awareness of the health issues in Fayette County," said Kelly Loomis, project coordinator for Steps to a Healthier PA -- Fayette County. "There is one simple and almost universally beneficial prescription for treating overweight conditions -- the simple act of walking."

Many studies have demonstrated the numerous health benefits of walking. Walkers enjoy a up to a 50 percent reduction in the risk of premature death; up to a 50 percent less incidence of Type-2 diabetes; up to a 40 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease; and as much as a 20 percent reduction in the risk of stroke.

"We're very excited to start this adventure,"said Hutson. "By participating in the 'Walk the Talk' trek to Harrisburg, we hope to increase awareness the awareness of Fayette County residents in the health areas of diabetes, obesity, asthma, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and tobacco use."

The Walk the Talk trek kick-off is set for 8:15 a.m. Friday, Aug. 18, on the Fayette campus, with the actual walk starting at 9 a.m. Plans are to reach the steps of the Capitol by noon Tuesday, Aug. 22.

"Our team will make it to Harrisburg, and this is an exciting opportunity," said Hutson. "We have the ability to make people more aware of the ongoing health problems of heart disease and obesity in Fayette County, with hopes that people will make healthy lifestyle behavioral changes and modifications. We're ready to get started with what we feel will be a fun adventure for a great cause."

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009