Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published their new Vital Signs report that revealed more Americans are incorporating walking into their lives than in years past. According to the report, more than 6 in 10 people walk for transportation; for fun, relaxation, or exercise; or for activities such as walking the dog. The percentage of people who report walking for 10 minutes or more at least once in the previous week increased from 56 percent in 2005 to 62 percent in 2010.
The report compiled statistics from across the nation. In the West, around 68 percent of people engage in walking in their daily lives. The South experienced the largest bump in the number of people walking, with an uptick of about 8 percentage points from 2005 (49 percent) to 2010 (57 percent). In addition, adults with arthritis or hypertension were among those who reported participating in more walking.
But Still Not Often Enough
Despite the encouraging news, experts conclude that far too many people are still not getting enough exercise to improve their health – less than half of U.S. adults get the recommended amount of physical activity of 2.5 hours a week. The CDC says that walkable, pedestrian-inclusive communities are key to encouraging Americans to travel by foot.
The report encourages employers and state and local governments to support walkability – and fitness— by developing new sidewalks, paths, and other safe places that encourage people to walk for work, errands, and recreation.
For more information about how you can start “walking more, more of the time” and resources to help make Arlington a better place to walk, visit WalkArlington.com.
WalkArlington, an initiative of Arlington County Commuter Services within the Department of Environmental Services, gets "more people walking more of the time" by promoting the health, environmental, community-building, and commuting benefits of walking.