September 9, 2015
Today, the United States Surgeon General issued a call to action to address major public health challenges such as heart disease and diabetes. Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities articulates the health benefits of walking.
“Walking is the simplest way to add more physical activity into our everyday lives,” said Lawrence E. Armstrong, Ph.D., FACSM, president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “Research demonstrates numerous health benefits of walking and healthy eating, and ACSM supports this call to action to create healthier, more active communities in the U.S.”
“We know that an active lifestyle is critical to achieving good overall health. And walking is a simple, effective and affordable way to build physical activity into our lives.
The Surgeon General’s report discusses the health benefits of walking and calls on individuals to make walking a priority in their lives. Fewer than half of all U.S. adults get enough physical activity to reduce their risk of chronic disease, and only a quarter of high school students get the recommended amount. Physical inactivity contributes to heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer, which account for 86% of our nation’s health care costs. Building walking into daily life can reduce disease and save money.
“We know that an average of 22 minutes a day of physical activity – such as brisk walking – can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes,” added Dr. Murthy. “The key is to get started because even a small first effort can make a big difference in improving the personal health of an individual and the public health of the nation.”
For more information about the U.S. Surgeon General’s quest to get everyone walking, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov
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