Throughout the month of September, Ohioans walked a grand total of 55,250,000 steps in support of falls prevention awareness, vastly exceeding the goal of the Ohio Department of Aging’s (ODA’s) annual 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls campaign.
This year’s final tally was the highest total for the campaign since the before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At ODA, we’re grateful to every Ohioan who literally went the extra mile in support of this campaign by lacing up their walking shoes and getting their steps in,” said ODA Director Ursel J. McElroy. “We also appreciate the organizations across the state that put in the time and the effort to host their own walking events as well as the continued support of aging initiatives by Governor Mike DeWine and his administration.
“All of these contributions helped us crush our goal of 10 million steps and placed a spotlight on the importance of doing all we can to prevent falls, which can be life-altering for older Ohioans.”
Falls are not considered a normal part of aging, but they are the leading cause of injury among older Ohioans. One in three people age 65 and older fall each year.
However, most falls can be prevented. Regular exercise, like walking 15-30 minutes each day, is one of the many ways people can lower their risk.
Created in 2015, ODA’s 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls campaign is held during Falls Prevention Month each September to encourage Ohioans of all ages to walk at least one mile, either in a group or as an individual, for valuable exercise and as an opportunity to learn about other things they can do and local resources available to help prevent falls.
This year, 25 walking groups, comprised of 5,580 participants, walked a combined total of 22,100 miles in related events – that’s the equivalent of walking around the perimeter of Ohio nearly 20 times.
In addition to walking solo, individuals could also contribute by viewing any of four falls prevention webinars produced by ODA and its STEADY U Ohio partners. These webinars remain available for on-demand viewing at www.aging.ohio.gov/10millionsteps.
Tips to prevent falls: