---- — DES MOINES — More than 298,000 Iowans affirmed their support for the Healthiest State Initiative by participating in the third annual Healthiest State Walk Wednesday.
Wednesday's reported event participation was slightly higher than the 2011 and 2012 walks and brought the three-year total of reported Healthiest State Walk participation to more than 886,000.
"As they have during all three statewide walks, Iowans turned out in great numbers to support our effort to become the nation's healthiest state," said Ric Jurgens, chair of the Healthiest State Initiative board. "We all recognize that a one-kilometer walk won't change a person's health by itself. But the incredible level of participation demonstrates our citizens' commitment to making tangible steps toward higher levels of well-being."
In August 2011, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the plan to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation within five years as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Since that announcement, Iowa has moved from 19th to ninth in the well-being rankings.
The Healthiest State Initiative is a privately led, public effort that engages Iowans and their communities throughout the state. For more information, visit www.healthieststate.com.