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2024 West Virginia Physical Activity Symposium: Officials share ideas to improve health

By Daisy Gibbons, The Exponent Telegram

STONEWALL, W.Va. — Federal, state and local officials gathered Wednesday at Stonewall Resort for the 2024 West Virginia Physical Activity Symposium to develop strategies to promote better health throughout the state.

Leaders discussed how to disseminate and implement ActiveWV 2030: The West Virginia Physical Activity Plan.

The plan’s goal is to increase the physical activity levels of West Virginians so they meet or exceed national recommendations, thus improving residents’ health and quality of life.

“We are bringing all these speakers together today and all these participants to talk about how we are going to use the plan to really motivate people to be physically active,” said Eloise Elliott, chair of the coordinating committee for the West Virginia Physical Activity Plan and director of the Center for ActiveWV.’

Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-chair Gayle Manchin was among those who spoke at the symposium.

“We are touched by five states, all that have counties in the Appalachian region. So, you begin to see that West Virginia can be the hub, and out from this hub we start building this spider web of promising activities, curricula and programs … for our children and our communities’ quality of life,” she said.

“These agencies at the federal level that can provide resources and support, working at the state level, and then the state working with communities and taking it right down to the people in those communities … and say what can we do better.”

The West Virginia Physical Activity Plan includes strategies and tactics for 10 societal sectors: business and industry; community recreation, fitness and parks; education; faith-based settings; health care; media and communications; military; public health; sport; and transportation, land use and community design.

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