Walk Kansas 2024: Celebrating 25 Years of Resilience and Wellness, Embarking on a New Era of Workplace Health Initiatives

By Trish Svoboda

Just after the 2024 Walk Kansas program wrapped up, Sharolyn Jackson, who has been coordinating the event since its inception in 2001, is already looking forward to next year’s event, which marks its 25th anniversary.

“We had a few more people participating this year, compared to 2023,” Jackson said, noting that the 4,400 participants beat the previous year’s total “by a couple hundred.”

Walk Kansas is a team-oriented challenge that motivates groups of six to cover a distance equal to the length of Kansas (213 miles) in the span of eight weeks. The goal is to get participants to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, a guideline recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all Americans. Following that guideline, more than 324,000 miles would have been covered by the 4,400 participants during the eight weeks.

Jackson revealed the participants this year outperformed expectations and covered 614,234 miles, equaling nearly 25 times around Earth.

Next year Walk Kansas will feature many of the same activities and more.

“One of the things we’ve talked a lot about is a worksite wellness program,” Jackson said. “It’s very affordable for most businesses and so we’re going to be promoting Walk Kansas to workplaces next year.”

Programs are offered throughout the year by K-State Research and Extension that have similar goals as Walk Kansas, including Walk With Ease and Stay Strong, Stay Healthy.

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