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Ohioans walk more than 55 million steps in support of ODA falls prevention campaign

10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls

Columbus, Ohio – Throughout the month of September, Ohioans walked a grand total of 55,250,000 steps in support of falls prevention awareness, vastly exceeding the goal of the Ohio Department of Aging’s (ODA’s) annual 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls campaign.

This year’s final tally was the highest total for the campaign since the before the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“At ODA, we’re grateful to every Ohioan who literally went the extra mile in support of this campaign by lacing up their walking shoes and getting their steps in,” said ODA Director Ursel J. McElroy. “We also appreciate the organizations across the state that put in the time and the effort to host their own walking events as well as the continued support of aging initiatives by Governor Mike DeWine and his administration.

“All of these contributions helped us crush our goal of 10 million steps and placed a spotlight on the importance of doing all we can to prevent falls, which can be life-altering for older Ohioans.”

Falls are not considered a normal part of aging, but they are the leading cause of injury among older Ohioans. One in three people age 65 and older fall each year.

However, most falls can be prevented. Regular exercise, like walking 15-30 minutes each day, is one of the many ways people can lower their risk.

Created in 2015, ODA’s 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls campaign is held during Falls Prevention Month each September to encourage Ohioans of all ages to walk at least one mile, either in a group or as an individual, for valuable exercise and as an opportunity to learn about other things they can do and local resources available to help prevent falls.

This year, 25 walking groups, comprised of 5,580 participants, walked a combined total of 22,100 miles in related events – that’s the equivalent of walking around the perimeter of Ohio nearly 20 times.

In addition to walking solo, individuals could also contribute by viewing any of four falls prevention webinars produced by ODA and its STEADY U Ohio partners. These webinars remain available for on-demand viewing at www.aging.ohio.gov/10millionsteps

Tips to prevent falls:

  • Get at least 15 minutes of simple exercise, like walking, each day.
  • Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated.
  • Contact your local area agency on aging (1-866-243-5678) to learn about balance and exercise programs in your community.
  • Ask your doctor or other health care provider for a falls risk assessment, including a review of whether any of the medications you take may increase your risk for falling.
  • Obtain and use a cane or walker if you have trouble walking or standing for long periods.
  • Look around your home for falls risks, such as loose rugs, poor lighting, and clutter.
  • Have grab bars professionally installed in your bathroom.

Find more falls prevention tips and resources at www.steadyu.ohio.gov.

2022 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls Contributing Partners

  • 50 North
  • Altercare Coshocton 
  • Area Agency on Aging 9  
  • Area Agency on Aging District 7 
  • Community Partnership on Aging Cuyahoga County 
  • Direction Home Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities
  • Direction Home of Eastern Ohio 
  • Hamilton County Law Library Walkers
  • Holmes County General Health District 
  • Innovate Ohio Platform
  • Kingston Mound Manor Residents 
  • NOMS CPW Healthcare
  • Office of Collective Bargaining 
  • Ohio Department of Aging 
  • Ohio Department of Commerce
  • OSU Extension Pike County 
  • Shepherd of the Valley – Mahoning County  
  • Soprema Senior Center 
  • Twin Maples Home Health Care/Home Help Angels
  • Walk to End Alzheimer's – Columbus 
  • Walk to End Alzheimer's – Grand Lake 
  • Walk to End Alzheimer's – Cleveland
  • Wesley Glen 
  • Wesley Ridge
  • Wesley Woods 

About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.