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Active Living


The 2016 County Health Rankings, a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, measured Fulton County's adult obesity rate at 22%. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s The State of Obesity 2015 report, 31% of Georgia adults are obese.  A March 2015 research study published in Preventing Chronic Disease estimated that 33.4% of children aged 2 to 17 in Fulton County were obese or overweight.  A 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  puts  the statewide obesity rate for 2- to 4- year olds from low-income Georgia families at 13.2%; 16.5% for 10- to 17- year olds; and 12.7% among high school students.

Obesity contributes to chronic diseases and early deaths from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. The condition also carries negative academic and psycho-social implications for children and adolescents. Studies from the CDC and elsewhere show that in addition to preventing obesity and obesity-related health problems, physical activity enhances important components of academic performance, including concentration, cognition and classroom behavior. But the 2014 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of Georgia high school students found that just 43% of them were physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.

To help combat the obesity problem  among Fulton County residents, the Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program is working with its Active Living Program partners to increase the number of Fulton County residents with access to physical activity opportunities, especially students in K-12 schools; members of faith-based organizations; and children and adolescents supervised by outside-of-school care providers, by:

  • improving the amount and quality of physical education and physical activity in K-12 schools
  • increasing the number of jurisdictions adopting Complete Streets planning policies
  • increasing the number of outside-of-school care providers with formal wellness policies governing physical activity and screen-time limits
  • increasing the number of faith-based organizations with active living policies that involve nature-based, outdoor activities

Success Stories

PICH’s Active Living Program works to help County residents lower chronic disease risk and gain more access to physical activity where they live, learn, work and worship. The Active Living Summit in February 2016 assembled health professionals, policymakers, community and business leaders and government officials to discuss strategies to increase physical activity opportunities for children, adults and seniors. PICH has co-sponsored Atlanta’s Streets Alive events and helped to promote the city’s new Relay BikeShare program. PICH also funds training in Creative Physical Education techniques for Fulton County and Atlanta Public School teachers and purchases instructional resources that are being used to build physical activity into the daily lives of elementary and middle school students. Another signal achievement is the Interfaith Active Living Initiative that is helping dozens of Fulton County faith-based organizations effectively fold fitness into their fellowship.

In 2016, 429 Fulton County and Atlanta Public School teachers were trained in Creative PE techniques at PICH-sponsored professional development workshops, resulting in 100,767 students from those school systems experiencing innovative PE activities. Through PICH's Interfaith Active Living Initiative, 26 faith-based congregations adopted wellness resolutions, many of which included establishing or enhancing walking groups.

Read More


Printable PICH Active Living Program Fact Sheet

Printable PICH Interfaith Active Living Initiative Reference Guide

Printable Recap of the 2016 Active Living Summit

Printable PICH Active Aging Materials

Printable PICH Active Aging Content from April 2016 Atlanta Voice NOW! Supplement

Interfaith Active Living Initiative Video