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March 28, 2019

Contact: LaTonya Norton

For Media Inquiries Only
(504) 658-4962




NEW ORLEANS — As part of National Minority Health Month (April), the City of New Orleans is launching its Movin’ with the Mayor Challenge to encourage individuals, especially racial and ethnic minorities, to work physical activity into their daily and weekly schedules.


"We're going to uplift National Minority Health Month and challenge all of our residents young and old to move with the mayor. This will have immediate impacts on everyone's physical ability and wellness. This is an exciting challenge that will improve our health and our daily quality of life," said Mayor Cantrell.


Over the past five years, Orleans Parish has seen an estimated 4.6% decrease in physical activity. More alarming, four out five chronic disease related indicators have increased as well. The City of New Orleans’ Health Department is concentrating its efforts on health outcomes and improving obesity rates, lowering blood pressure rates and creating opportunities for increased physical activity. Physical activity also provides indirect mental health benefits. Led by Rudy Macklin, the head of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the Bureau of Minority Health Access, the goal of the challenge is to create fitness awareness and obesity reduction across the city. The intent is to highlight the natural opportunities to engage in physical activity such as French Quarter Festival, Crescent City Classic and Jazz Fest to name a few, while making physical fitness a part of the culture the same as festivals. Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno stated, “We know that small steps create long term impacts on all citizens regardless of their health indicators.”


The guidelines recommend that adults move more and sit less. According to the guidelines, adults need at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week (or 22 to 44 minutes a day). This can be brisk walking, bicycling, dancing or other activity.  In addition, at least two days each week, adults should do activities that strengthen their muscles, such as lifting weights or push-ups. For inactive adults, replacing sedentary behavior with light-intensity physical activity is also likely to produce some health benefits. For children from 6 to 17 years old, the recommend at least 60 minutes a day of physical activity.


In 2016, more than half (52 percent) of African American adults met neither the 2008 aerobic or muscle-strengthening guidelines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and just 21 percent met both guidelines. For Latinos, the 52 percent did not meet the guidelines, and just 17 percent met them. Among American Indian and Alaska Natives, 55 percent failed to meet the guidelines, while 15 percent met them. And among Asians, the percentages are 44 and 17, respectively. Among whites, the percentages are 43 and 24 respectively.


The challenge will begin April 1, 2019 and end at midnight on June 30, 2019. The three month challenge will recruit individuals and teams from across the greater New Orleans area to average the most steps per day (any physical activity can be converted into steps) with the winning team/individuals will be announced at the end of the month.


Visit Own Your Own Health at to sign up throughout the challenge for weekly prizes, tips, updates on your progress, promotional materials and other information. Tag #CityOfYes


Sign-up instructions:


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