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Delivering a first-rate transportation system for Seattle Scott Kubly, Director

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Support Programs

Support programs provide another important walking incentive and can encourage people of all ages to be more physically active by walking for transportation, health, and recreation. A wide range of programs have been effective with different age groups and populations. To design a support program appropriate for the people you’re encouraging to walk, it’s important to understand why they’re not walking now. A simple survey of friends, neighbors, and community members can quickly reveal people’s preferences.

For some people, a walking partner makes all the difference. Walking buddies can increase feelings of comfort and security by enabling people to explore new and different routes than they may have tried alone. The knowledge that someone else is counting on them to walk can also motivate people to get out and walk instead of staying in the house or driving alone.

A recent focus group of Seattle teens indicated free walking playlists might encourage young people to walk more frequently. Playlists can be created based on walk length, pace, or mood, or they can narrate the history and interesting features of a mapped route.

Sample support programs:

  • Walking buddies
  • Free “walking music” playlists
  • King County Healthy Incentives
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