If you can grocery shop or vacuum a floor, you can walk across the state of Georgia.
That’s a possibility with Walk Georgia, an online 12-week program offered by the University of Georgia’s Extension Office that converts minutes of activity into steps, which accumulate into miles walked.
As miles are accumulated, participants can navigate a map of Georgia and chart a course to simulate walking across the state.
“If you exercise or your total activity was 20 miles, then you would ‘walk’ 20 miles across Richmond County and get into Columbia County,” said Betty English, who coordinates the program for the extension office in Richmond County.
Participants will receive historical facts and tidbits about the counties they will encounter on their “journeys” across Georgia.
English said the program is intended to help people understand that increasing any physical activity is beneficial, even if it’s not technically exercise.
Participants will log physical activity on the Walk Georgia Web site. Activities are assigned a steps-per-
minute equivalent based on the amount of energy expended.
For example, mowing grass with a push mower is equal to 187 steps per minute. It takes 2,000 steps to equal one “walked” mile, therefore 30 minutes of mowing grass would equal 5,610 steps, or 2.8 miles.
Participants are encouraged to “walk” 15 cumulative miles per week.
“What we’re wanting to do is increase activity in a community-oriented way,” English said.
The program is free. Participants can sign up individually or in teams of four.
Weekly newsletters will be sent out with healthy lifestyle tips, recipes, recognition of leading participants, success stories and announcements.
The program is offered each spring and fall. Registration for the fall session is open through Oct. 9. Activity will be tracked through Nov. 23, and the program will end Dec. 4.
For more information about the program, visit www.walkgeorgia.org.