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Romney, Travaglini and Dimasi Launch "Every body Move!" Public Awareness Campaign

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ROMNEY, TRAVAGLINI AND DIMASI LAUNCH 'EVERY BODY MOVE!' PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Local Athletes and Sports Teams Stand United for Physical Fitness and Sports

Governor Mitt Romney, Senate President Robert E. Travaglini and Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi today kicked off a statewide public awareness campaign "Every Body Move!" as part of an ongoing initiative that will increase awareness about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle by participating in physical fitness and sports programs.

The campaign, launched in May in recognition of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is designed to get Massachusetts residents "moving", where any physical activity is a victory.

"The more you move, the better you feel," said Governor Mitt Romney. "A little fun fitness goes a long way towards ensuring a healthier and more fulfilling life. And a healthier Massachusetts is good news for all of us."

"Everybody wins, when everybody moves," said Senate President Travaglini. "Everyday activities that anybody can do like walks, bike rides and kite-flying not only contribute to physical fitness, they can also help bring generations closer. Exercise is one of the best sources of preventative medicine."

"This initiative is an excellent example of the state's commitment to improving the health and well-being of our citizens," said Speaker of the House DiMasi. "Together, we are working to increase public awareness about the benefits of exercise and the programs that can help Massachusetts residents get in shape. Everybody can lead an active, healthier lifestyle and the 'Every Body Move!' campaign shows us how."

Developed by the Massachusetts Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness & Sports, the campaign highlights everyday activities and movements that enhance overall health and well-being.

The campaign was designed to help increase the visibility of programs that are already in place and create awareness in areas where none exist, providing all citizens with resources for living a healthier lifestyle.

The multi-media campaign will utilize television, radio, and print advertising as well as signage in each of the professional sports arenas and stadiums, and on/in the MBTA platforms, trains and buses. The campaign's website at www.everybodymove.org will offer information on the benefits of exercise, recommend activities, and promote existing sports, health and fitness programs available in Massachusetts.

On June 16, the Committee will hold its inaugural fundraiser, "Stars & Strikes," a celebrity bowling tournament hosted by Larry Lucchino of the Boston Red Sox, Jonathan Kraft of the New England Patriots and New England Revolution, Wyc Grousbeck of the Boston Celtics, and Charlie Jacobs of the Boston Bruins. The attendees will also include athletes, coaches and management from each of the area's professional sports teams as well as local and national celebrities.

Later this summer, the Committee will launch a membership-driven outreach initiative targeting 8-14 year olds, the most inactive and impressionable segment of the population. A cornerstone of this initiative will be a fitness challenge where individual and groups of children can join an online fitness community and earn rewards for their fitness and sports related activities. This initiative will serve to complement and raise awareness for a variety of existing health and fitness programs, and offer programming where it currently does not exist.

"The public/private partnership that has been formed to address this issue is the first step toward making Massachusetts a healthier community," said Soosie Lazenby, Chair of the Committee. "I am grateful to the Governor and to the legislative leadership for recognizing the importance of this initiative and for the support of our Committee members, professional sports teams, corporate partners, and professional athletes who have dedicated significant time and resources to launch this campaign."

Recent findings that underscore the need for the "Every Body Move!" campaign:

* According to the Massachusetts Department of Health (MDPH) data, 49% of Massachusetts adults do not get regular physical activity and about 55% were overweight or obese.
* The Massachusetts Public Health Association and the MDPH reported that 18% of middle school students are overweight and 37% of high school students are not engaging in the recommended levels of weekly physical activity.
* While childhood obesity rates have tripled nationwide over the past thirty years, in Massachusetts alone one in eight children under the age of five is above the 95th percentile for weight.
* The Surgeon General's report on Physical Activity and Health shows that regular exercise has significant benefits to health including reduced weight and decreased risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
* According to the Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the role of community-based interventions is seen as a critical component strategy to increase physical activity behaviors.

"This program is intended to complement, not compete with, other fitness programs. It will help motivate people to change to lifestyles that improve fitness in general. As a result, it will appeal to a broad segment of society rather than a small group," said Dr. Bert Zarins, Chief of Sports Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. "It is better to have a small victory that lasts a long time rather than an ambitious fitness program that is short lived."

About the Massachusetts Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports
To reflect the current health crisis in the Commonwealth, Governor Romney revitalized the Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness & Sports in late 2004. The Governor created this bi-partisan effort by enlisting the support of the Senate President and the Speaker and appointed 30 members to work in collaboration with state government and the Commonwealth's leading health experts, professional and collegiate sports teams and marketing professionals to create awareness for the vital role that sports and fitness play in the health and well being of its citizens.

The Committee will work to create programs and initiatives to provide a permanent way to live a healthy active lifestyle, with a particular emphasis on restoring physical fitness in the school system.

http://www.mass.gov/portal/index.jsp?pageID=pressreleases&agId=Agov2&prModName=gov2pressrelease&prFile=gov_pr_050503_Every_Body_Move.xml

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