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Engaging a local council to promote physical activity : the case of dog walking in the 10,000 Steps Rockhampton project
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Grant Schofield, Rebekah Steele, William Mummery, W Brown
Issues addressed: In terms of increasing population levels of physical activity, local municipal councils have a key role to play in creating activity friendly environments. The primary aim of this paper is to describe the process of initial engagement of the Rockhampton City Council in the 10,000 Steps Rockhampton project, through development of a strategy to promote responsible dog walking. Methods: Pamphlets promoting human and dog walking in the context of the 10,000 Steps Rockhampton project were distributed to 8,000 dog owners with the annual dog registration renewal notice. In addition, all dog-related outlets in the city were asked to display a large poster and make pamphlets available to the public. Results: Although the posters were widely displayed, a random sample telephone survey (n=420) revealed only one in five residents remembered receiving a pamphlet and only a small proportion of people reported increased dog walking. Conclusions: Notwithstanding this disappointing result in terms of behaviour change, the initial engagement with the Council resulted in substantial subsequent collaborative work to promote increase physical activity in this regional Queensland city.