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UGA Extension’s Walk Georgia Website Redesigned to Help Reduce Obesity in Georgia

September 2, 2014

With a $1 million, three-year grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the University of Georgia (UGA) Extension has renovated the Walk Georgia website and improved program offerings. Two of the top priorities include reaching 100,000 Georgians and reducing obesity in each Georgia county by five percent over the next three years.

UGA Extension is now piloting the redesign of the Walk Georgia website at pilot.walkgeorgia.org. More than 1,000 participants have logged on and offered helpful feedback on usability since the launch of the pilot.

“Having such a large testing pool allows us to improve not only how the website functions, but also its ease of use,” said Kathryn Schiliro, a public relations specialist with Walk Georgia. “Major changes are being made to registration, physical activity logging and group formation based on users’ feedback.”

The Walk Georgia website can be bookmarked on most smartphones so that it displays as an icon on the home screen, and that’s an easy way to access the website. One of the biggest priorities for the website's redesign is mobile device scalability, in order to improve user experience on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, according toSchiliro.

“We greatly appreciate the participation of not only individual users and UGA Extension participants, but also Piedmont Healthcare, who we’ve partnered with during the website testing,” said Schiliro. “We will continue testing of the website with several school systems in order to evaluate classroom use and student participation.”

The Walk Georgia program has been around since 2008. UGA Extension is focusing primarily on website development, functionality and user-friendliness as well as developing the Walk Georgia brand recognition. Since the program started in 2008, roughly 50,000 participants have logged more than five million miles worth of physical activity.

Through partnerships, DPH’s Georgia SHAPE, Piedmont Healthcare and The Coca-Cola Foundation have opened doors for Walk Georgia on a number of levels.

“We’ve reached thousands during the pilot session through our attendance at events and conferences, including the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Association of Educational Leaders conferences,” said Schiliro. “At GAEL, we teamed up with Kelly Cornett and Matt Yancey, to promote both our partnership with Georgia SHAPE/Power Up for 30 and resources available to help fight obesity in Georgia's schools, like teacher trainings, grants and lesson plans.”

To participate in the website testing phase, visit http://pilot.walkgeorgia.org/ to create an account, log physical activity and send feedback on usability and programs to walkga@uga.edu. The Walk Georgia newsletter and blog, located at http://blog.extension.uga.edu/walkgeorgia/, are also available options for users to keep track of the website pilot’s progress.

 

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