Take a walk!
Residents of the Village of Cuba, New Mexico, are working together to promote physical activity by constructing and improving walking trails and places to be physically active trails in their community. Their volunteer efforts are part of Step Into Cuba, a community initiative using recommendations from the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force).
The initiative aims to reduce chronic disease and improve the health of the Village’s residents by increasing physical activity through access to natural environments.
Step Into Cuba is run by the Step Into Cuba Alliance, a partnership of individuals and organizations that includes the University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center* (UNM PRC), citizens from the Village of Cuba, a local nonprofit organization called The Nacimiento Community Foundation, and various governmental agencies.
UNM PRC handles the research and evaluation component of the initiative, which is a part of a larger research project called Village Interventions and Venues for Activity (VIVA). The entire community-academic research partnership is named VIVA-Step Into Cuba.
Sally Davis, PhD, is UNM PRC’s director. She says using the Task Force’s findings from the Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) website provided a framework for the initiative.
“The Community Guide has been essential to us, and we’ll continue to use it,” Davis says.
From 2008-2011, the death rate from diabetes in the portion of the county surrounding Cuba was about 55 people per 100,000, which was more than double the national rate.1-3 Physical activity can help prevent and manage diabetes, yet residents of rural New Mexico communities like Cuba are more likely to be physically inactive than urban residents.