Few Oklahomans Committed to Physical Fitness

Article excerpt

A select group of people recognizes the importance of regular physical activity, but the average person either does not understand it or ignores its importance, according to Dr. William A. Grana, member of the Oklahoma Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and medical director for the Oklahoma Center for Athletes.

During Gov. George Nigh's term, a governor's council on physical fitness and sports was formed, but did not weather the transition to Gov. Henry Bellmon's term. In 1988, the governor's council was reorganized and formed the Oklahoma Council for Physical Fitness and Sports. Its mission is to create better awareness of the importance of sports and fitness activities to the health, social and economic well-being of all Oklahomans.

"Gov. Bellmon is really committed to individual fitness activity," said Grana. "People sometimes have a hard time disassociating themselves from team or spectator sports."

Once a year, the council holds a conference on physical fitness and sports. In May, Wilmer Mizell, executive director of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, lead a small group discussion. The council also distributes a quarterly newsletter.

The council is going to need financial support, or it will have problems by the first of 1991, said Grana. The council raises money from individuals and promotional events like a sponsored run or employee fitness day.

The college-educated, white collar worker tends to be involved in physical fitness, but the largest part of the population is not involved, said Grana.

"We've reached a few people, but there are a lot more out there," said Grana. "It is hard to get people to understand the individual commitment to fitness. Corporations like Southwestern Bell, Kerr-McGee and Conoco understand it. Conoco was one of the first companies to build a fitness center for its employees. …