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Community feature: the Monday Mile at Syracuse University

The Syracuse University Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion has collaborated with community partners to launch over 30 Monday Mile routes.

The Monday Mile, an initiative of Move It Monday, is a health campaign that encourages people to walk one mile starting on Monday. Like other Monday campaigns, the Monday Mile uses Monday as a “fresh start” for physical activity, and those running the program hope that the routine continues for the rest of the week.

Tom Dennison, Former Faculty Director of the Syracuse Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, identifies two primary barriers that his community members face in deciding to engage in physical activity:

  1. Motivation to break out of a routine and exercise; and

  2. Having a safe and accessible place to engage in physical activity.

The Syracuse University Lerner Center defines success of the campaign by the number of people who use the Monday Mile on a given day, in addition to the degree to which it builds community.

Peyton Sefick, Director of Community Outreach at the Fitness Inclusion Network, collaborates with the Syracuse Lerner Center to help ensure that Monday Mile trails are accessible for wheelchair users and are in safe, accessible places for people with different abilities. The initiative currently uses Inclusion U’s checklist for determining accessibility of trails, which allows them to identify accessible locations.

The Syracuse Lerner Center works closely with people in the community who have heard about the Monday Mile initiative and want to bring it to their own populations – particularly neighborhoods, hospitals, and county parks departments. Thanks to help from partners such as the Madison County Rural Health Council, there are currently about 30 Monday Mile routes across the city. The Monday Mile has become a focal point for community groups to both build community and stay active.

Discussion

As you watch, consider the following and respond below:

  • How do you plan to define success in your program?

  • How can you make your program accessible to people with different abilities?

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The Monday Campaigns: Lessons in Public Health Promotion

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