The numbers are in — and they’re spectacular. Iowans put on their walking shoes Wednesday to take a one-kilometer walk as part of the Healthiest State Initiative. Liz Cox, spokeswoman for the effort, says the day proved to be a big success for all involved.

“About 298,000 people took a minute to log onto our website and tell us that they did walk,” Cox says. “We’re fairly certain that more than that number were walking and just didn’t tell us about it.” That participation was slightly higher than the walks in 2011 and 2012 and brought the three-year total of walkers to more than 886,000.

She says it was easy to take part. Cox says, “We asked people to walk one kilometer in their communities, in their neighborhoods, in their businesses, as a demonstration they are committed to making themselves and our state a healthier place to live.”

In 2011, Governor Branstad announced the plan to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation within five years, as measured by the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index. Since then, Iowa has moved from 19th to 9th in the well-being rankings. Learn more at:

(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)