Sumter County On The Move! Attacks SC’s Obesity Rate | Health
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest estimates released on Monday, South Carolina ranks among 12 states with obesity rates 30% or greater. A free community walking program and research study based in Sumter County is combating that statistic. Sumter County On The Move! (SCOTM!) is sponsored by the University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center (USC PRC) and Sumter County Active Lifestyles. The study is being funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SCOTM! includes walking groups of coworkers, friends, or family to support each other in walking. Group members encourage each other through regular contact in person, by phone, email or social media. The study’s Principal Investigator, Melinda Forthofer, noted “One of the great features of SCOTM! is its flexibility, because groups can walk together often or occasionally, or group members may wish to walk separately most of the time.” One participant, who just completed the first phase of the study remarked, “After joining SCOTM!, I became more aware of how idle I had been. I began walking again with my wife and recognize how much more energy I had throughout the day.”
Walking is one of the best moderate activities for all ages and levels of physical fitness. Walking briskly as little as 30 minutes a day can reduce obesity and the risk of chronic disease, such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. SCOTM! is open to all adult Sumter County residents, as well as people who work or spend time in the county and is currently enrolling participants. To register, call (803) 774-3861 or visit the study’s website at www.sumtercountymoves.org.
The study’s components have been designed to meet the demands of a community on the go that is looking for easy, inexpensive ways to be active. For more information about SCOTM! visit the study’s website at www.sumtercountymoves.org or call Dr. Melinda Forthofer at (803) 777-1527.