SALISBURY —Several dozen people walked together through Bell Tower Green on Friday morning to celebrate the launch of Rowan Moves.
“I’m so thankful to have you all here today so we can take that first step together,” Health Director Alyssa Harris said before the walk.
Rowan Moves is a county-wide initiative launched by Healthy Rowan designed to improve the health and lives of residents by encouraging citizens to get out and exercise at the county’s many parks, greenways and gyms. The initiative was created after local health leaders noticed the community’s physical activity decline during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participants in the program log their steps at rowanmoves.com to keep track of their activity and compete with others. A calculator on the website converts almost any exercise — biking, swimming, tennis and more — into a set number of steps. Participants can also form groups to combine their steps together.
At the ribbon cutting, representatives with Rowan Moves helped sign participants up for the program and distributed pedometers, towels, stickers and other giveaways.
Even though the launch was held on Friday, the Rowan Moves website went live in January. So far, about 200 people have signed up and participants have logged more than 18 million steps. Jeff Flash is currently atop the public leaderboard with 325,668 steps.
“It’s been really well received by so many niches of the community and so many populations I don’t think we would have reached without Rowan Moves,” Healthy Rowan Program Manager Courtney Meece said.
Meece said she’s been impressed with the number of steps logged by walkers and is particularly pleased with the Rufty-Holmes Senior Center group, which has recorded almost one million steps.
The Rowan Moves team will continue to promote the initiative at local events and is always looking for community partners, whether it be a local business or nonprofit organization.