Lifestyle

Web site's goal: To shape up seniors

For the Mirror

It’s time to shape up, King County.

A new Web site called just that, ––www.shapeupkingcounty.org –– is offering information on places where older adults can play tennis, participate in water aerobics, take a Judo class, join a walking team or even try fencing.

The Web site, supported by health-oriented non-profit organizations, is a resource for seniors. It includes an interactive guide thatlets browsers search for activities by type and location.

Shape up King County started taking shape over a year ag. A medical student surveyed the area for places that offered physical fitness activities for older adults. Senior Services of Seattle-King County then completed the project by initiating a Web site.

Healthy Aging Partnership, a coalition of more than 30 Puget Sound not-for-profit and public organizations dedicated to the health and well-being of older adults, hopes the Web site will be used by seniors, businesses and healthcare providers that want to help keep their employees and patients healthy.

“The site has information on hundreds of fitness activities,” said Eileen Murphy of Senior Services. “Studies have repeatedly shown the benefits of physical activity and we want to make it easier for people to find programs that will help them be healthy and active.”

Murphy noted healthcare providers can direct patients to the site for information or use it themselves.

People without Internet access can call 1-888-4elders for a list of fitness activities in their area.

Other organizations affiliated with the site include the city of Seattle’s Aging and Disability Services Department, the Seattle-King County Public Health Department, Comprehensive Health Education Foundation and the UW Health Promotion Research Center.

According to the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center, the National Healthy Research Network wants to use the site as a national model.

Fitness program providers or related businesses and organizations that would like to be included on the Web site can go to www.shapeupkingcounty.org for more information.

Questions about fitness and other issues related to living healthier as a sesnior is available on-line from Healthy Aging Partnerships at www.4elders.org.

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