Oxford County residents suffer high rates of obesity and physical inactivity, 28% and 25% respectively, while the national benchmarks are 25% and 21% according to countyhealthrankings.org. According to the 2014 County Health Rankings, 30% of Oxford County adults are obese. Only 31% of Oxford county residents have access to physical activity opportunities, lower than the Maine average (57%), and 25% of adults are physically inactive. Many residents lack the opportunity to integrate physical activity into their daily routines safely and conveniently because walking and bicycling, two popular and widely accessible forms of exercise, can be dangerous on rural county roads, especially in the winter months.
Working with Healthy Oxford Hills, MaineHealth, and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, Perch designed the county-wide Oxford County Moves campaign that aims to emphasize existing walking and biking opportunities, while also promoting safe walking, biking, and driving habits. The campaign was designed to be reusable in other locations, and has already been spun off as the Waldo County Moves campaign, with a similar set of materials emphasizing physical activity options in Waldo County.
Using a central web hub for the Active Community Environment teams throughout the county and a plethora of supporting print materials, the Oxford County Moves campaign has a dual focus on both exploring opportunities to bike and walk in Oxford County, and educating residents on how to do so safely. Campaign materials included: