PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Golf fans at the 93rd PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club took millions of steps as they followed their favorite players around the course. For the second consecutive year, The PGA of America encouraged spectators to participate in "Let's Move on Course!", this year sponsored by Hospital for Special Surgery, the Official Hospital of The PGA of America. Through the sponsorship, The PGA of America and Hospital for Special Surgery distributed 25,000 pedometers to spectators, encouraging them to track their steps as they walked the course. Ultimately, The PGA of America and Hospital for Special Surgery want everyone to recognize the health benefits associated with walking the course when they play and view golf as a lifelong, healthy activity.
"We continue to be thrilled with the response to "Let's Move on Course!" and its effectiveness at demonstrating the health benefits of the game of golf," said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. "Everyone – from juniors to grandparents – can see the impact of walking the course, and we hope that translates to more steps when they return to their normal golf routine."
Each day of the PGA Championship, spectators were encouraged to track their steps and visit PlayGolfAmerica.com to record the number of steps they took for a chance to win an autographed pin flag signed by the 2011 PGA Champion, Keegan Bradley. Based on those reporting data, more than two million steps were taken, with an average of 11,448 steps taken per person, per day. A 73-year-old man from Onalasa, Wis., reported the most steps with a total of 121,227 for the week which is approximately 60 miles. The average age of "Let's Move on Course!" participants was 49-years-old. The oldest participant was 90-years-old and the youngest participant was six-years-old.
"We're extremely pleased with the success of "Let's Move on Course!" at the 93rd PGA Championship in Atlanta," said Louis A. Shapiro, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hospital for Special Surgery. "This accomplishment reflects Hospital for Special Surgery's commitment to keeping people moving and active. We look forward to continuing our work with The PGA of America and advancing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle."
Health and fitness experts advocate that taking 10,000 steps per day will improve overall fitness and help control weight gain. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh determined that walking 18 holes meets the daily recommendation of 10,000 steps (five miles). In addition, the average person will burn approximately 300 calories an hour from walking a round of golf.
"We find that people are surprised at how quickly the number on their pedometer goes up while they are enjoying themselves on the course," said David Donatucci, Director of Fitness for The PGA of America. "Our goal with "Let's Move on Course!" is to demonstrate to people that something they love doing can actually help them be healthier. Taking the first steps to better health can often seem daunting, but the pedometer is a great way to show that fitness is already a part of one of their favorite activities."
This initiative reflects The PGA of America's support of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign, which attempts to combat childhood obesity by encouraging healthier food alternatives for children, as well as aiming to increase children's opportunities for physical activity.
For more information on Play Golf America and "Let's Move on Course!", visit PlayGolfAmerica.com.
About The PGA of America
Celebrating its 95th year, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission of its founders: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in a multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.
About Hospital for Special Surgery
Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 2 in rheumatology, No. 19 in neurology, and No. 16 in geriatrics by U.S. News & World Report (2011-12), and has received Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. From 2007 to 2011, HSS has been a recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award. HSS is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of the Medical College. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at http://www.hss.edu.