Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce


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As part of its Guest Lecture Series, Westfield State University will host Dr. Janet Walberg Rankin for her presentation “Active Transportation for a Healthy, Sustainable Planet” on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in the Woodward Center. The presentation will touch upon various areas of health including health of the body, environment, and transportation.

Dr. Janet Walberg Rankin is the founder of the ActivEarth initiative, which promotes global change through active transportation. Rankin’s research includes determining predictors and barriers of active transportation to improve public health, the environment, and the economy. 

ActivEarth is a global-scale, science-based and science-formed initiative intended to improve public health, the environment, and the economy through physical activity. ActivEarth strives to unite multi-disciplinary thought and action leaders which bring together the best minds to achieve a better world and to leverage science and research to fuel substantive change. The initiative has an imperative to educate and mobilize stakeholders and to collaborate and advocate active transportation and its benefits for the environment and health. ActivEarth has influenced individuals, colleges and universities, healthcare providers, public health workers, and organizations. 

Rankin is working toward improving the economy and to change the lack of physical activity in today’s society which causes many consequences. According to a 2008 study by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, bicycling and walking would save three billion gallons of gasoline and keep away 28 million tons of CO2 from the environment. Out of the 36 million deaths that occur globally each year, five million are due to physical inactivity. People tend to drive places that they can easily walk or bike to; about 27 percent of trips made in a car are only a mile or less away. All of these factors contribute to the idea of how ActivEarth can be a solution to making the world a more active and healthier place to live. 

This event was organized by the Exercise is Medicine on Campus committee which encourages and promotes the Westfield State community to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Exercise is Medicine on Campus committee member Cristina Pinto ’17 of Woburn, Mass. hopes the event inspires the Westfield State campus community.

“I hope that individuals are inspired to try to fit in more physical activity throughout their day whether it's walking more instead of driving or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator,” Pinto said.

This event is free and open to the public. For additional information please visit

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