This week the U.S. Surgeon General, VADM Vivek Murthy, MD, unveiled his landmark announcement, “Step it Up: A Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities.” In this announcement, Dr. Murthy spoke to business leaders, government representatives and physical activity advocates. His call to action aims to increase walking by working together to increase access to safe and convenient places to walk. The surgeon general wants to create a culture that supports walking for Americans of all ages and abilities.
We’ve yet to find a disease for which exercise isn’t helpful.
One out of every two Americans is living with a chronic disease; and as Miriam Nelson, PhD, Director of the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Prevention at Tufts University succinctly states, “We’ve yet to find a disease where exercise isn’t helpful.” By creating a culture of activity (in this case walking) the surgeon general hopes that people will be more inclined to move more, sit less, feel better, and decrease the incidence of chronic diseases.
5 simple goals for community health.
The call to action consists of five goals with related strategies to support walking and walkable communities in the United States. These goals require a concentrated effort across government, civic, transportation, land use, business industry and the community working together to promote activity. The goals are as follows:
- Make walking a national priority.
- Design communities that make it safe and easy to walk for people of all ages and abilities.
- Promote programs and policies to support walking where people live, learn, work, and play.
- Provide information to encourage walking and improve walkability.
- Fill surveillance, research gaps related to walking and walkability.
I will be addressing each of these goals in the weeks to come. You can access the surgeon general’s report here. There is a little surprise in the report for you as well: the surgeon general’s playlist for walking can actually be downloaded. Is our government getting hip? Never would I have imagined that! Stay tuned for more information on this landmark announcement.
Let’s get walking!