Fourteen Wisconsin communities and organizations have joined a statewide initiative that works to promote active lifestyles in communities.

Wisconsin Active Together, a program based at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, is a statewide network of partners and agencies that work to improve the health in their communities by promoting places to walk, bike and be active.

This is a part of the school’s healthTIDE network, which builds organizational relationships in the state to fight obesity and make the healthy choice, the easy choice.

“We began this program last year as a part of our larger obesity prevention initiative in partnership with state agencies and organizations and we are now reaching 1.4 million Wisconsinites across the state,” said Dr. Vince Cryns, professor of medicine (endocrinology) at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and principal investigator for the Obesity Prevention Initiative, that includes healthTIDE. “We know even the smallest changes to the landscape in promoting physical activity can add up to creating lasting changes for everyone’s benefit.”

The following have made the pledge to foster healthier lives in their communities:

  • East Central Regional Planning Commission
  • East Central Wisconsin Bike Fitchburg
  • Fort Healthy Wellness Coalition, Ft. Atkinson
  • Wello, Green Bay/ Brown County
  • Jackson in Action, Jackson County
  • Manitowoc County; Healthiest Manitowoc County
  • City of Middleton
  • Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Mayor's Neighborhood Leadership Cabinet, Sheboygan
  • Sun Prairie Moves, Inc.
  • Cambridge Wellness Collaborative
  • Verona Common Council and the Verona Chamber of Commerce
  • Walworth County Healthy Eating Active Living
  • City of Whitewater

“It’s an opportunity to work locally while being part of something larger happening across the state,” Jen Walker, healthTIDE Active Communities team lead and Wisconsin Active Communities Alliance coordinator said. “We want to celebrate local progress in promoting opportunities to increase physical activity, community design that provides new recreational spaces, and work that makes it easier for residents to walk and bike more.”

Other communities can apply to be a part of the program and receive support by going to WIActiveTogether.org.

Last summer the Wisconsin Obesity Prevention Initiative released a state-wide obesity map by ZIP Code based on electronic medical record that shows 41 percent of adults and 15 percent of children in Wisconsin are obese. Adult obesity rates by ZIP Code range from 15.9 percent to 67.2 percent, meaning adults living in some ZIP Codes are more than 4 times more likely to be obese than people in other ZIP Codes.

The Wisconsin Partnership Program funded these projects.

Other statewide partners who have co-developed and/or support the Wisconsin Active Together campaign include healthTIDE, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the Wisconsin Active Communities Alliance (WACA), the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Main Street Program, the YMCA, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation, and the American Planning Association Wisconsin Chapter. See a complete list on the Wisconsin Active Together website.