Encore Web Portal Promotes Walking...and Much More

For those whose New Year's resolution includes more physical activity, www.seattle.gov/walking is your ticket to walk!

Last summer's Sound Steps Half Marathon (twice around Lake Union)
involved several hundred older walkers. Sound Steps offers a
year-round walking program for people age 50+.

On January 3, Aging and Disability Services (ADS) and the City of Seattle's Department of Information Technology (DoIT) will unveil a new component of Encore—the City's Web Portal for people age 50+—that promotes walking organizations, events, and resources for older adults. The www.seattle.gov/walking Web address redirects to Encore and its wealth of resources.

Meant to encourage older people to get moving and stay connected, the page includes links to local walks and hikes, neighborhood walking maps, and volunteer opportunities like shelter dog walking as well as a selection of 5Ks and 10Ks by month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 33.8 percent of U.S. adults and 17 percent of children and youth are obese, a growing trend. In King County, 54 percent of adults are overweight or obese, 20 percent are obese, and 5.4 percent have been diagnosed with diabetes.

The benefits of physical activity are well-documented. You can control your weight, strengthen your bones and muscles, reduce your risk of chronic disease and some cancers, improve your mental health, prevent falls, and increase your chances of living longer. And walking is a level playing field—people can walk regardless of income and any extra walking is beneficial.

ADS and DoIT created Encore three years ago to give boomers 24/7 access to information about government and community programs and services that interest them. The portal provides older adults with access to thousands of resources under broad headings such as Work & Money, Arts & Recreation, and Health & Fitness.

—Irene Stewart, Aging and Disability Services

To provide feedback on the new walking portal or other Encore features, contact ADS planner Irene Stewart at 206-684-0662.