Baltimore City Successfully Completes the Billion Step Challenge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BALTIMORE, MD (October 10, 2018)—Last summer, Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD)  launched the Billion Step Challenge, a citywide wellness challenge to encourage all residents and employees in Baltimore City to get active. This week, the initiative tracked more than one billion steps by City residents. The project, which was part of BCHD’s strategic blueprint Healthy Baltimore 2020, included partnerships with other city agencies, corporate entities and community organizations that hosted events to promote physical activity. Healthy Baltimore 2020 outlines key priorities and objectives through which BCHD aims to reduce health disparities in Baltimore by half over the next 10 years.

“Congratulations Baltimore on achieving a billion steps in the Billion Step Challenge!” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “As an avid runner myself, I know first-hand the clear benefits of regular exercise in staying healthy, relieving stress and preventing chronic disease.  This initiative has been a wonderful way to motivate our citizens to take personal responsibility for their health and fitness, which contributes to making Baltimore a healthier, more active City - one step at a time.  I encourage all our citizens – young and old alike - to keep moving, keep exercising, and to eat a balanced and healthy diet.”

The project engaged City residents toward the goal of a billion steps by:

  • Hosting challenge events in communities across Baltimore City;
  • Creating an online inventory designed to promote walks, runs and wellness events throughout the City;
  • Working with community-based organizations, churches, the business community, and other stakeholders to promote challenge activities and wellness messaging.

“I'm so proud of Baltimore for achieving a billion steps since 2017! The Billion Step Challenge is all about all of us—businesses, neighborhood groups, and communities from all across Baltimore—coming together to make physical activity fun and connecting our residents to opportunities to be and stay active,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “As an emergency physician, I see patients who are suffering from diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. These are illnesses that can kill—but we in Baltimore are preventing these diseases and are saving lives."

As a component of the Healthy Baltimore Campaign, the Billion Step Challenge also educated residents on other aspects of chronic disease prevention, including healthy eating, living tobacco free, and much more.

Partners included: WBAL-TV, Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Ravens, Schmidt Baking, Carefirst, BD Diagnostics, Maryland Department of Health, LifeBridge Health, and SectionOne.

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