December 7, 2023

Call to Action on Walking

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has issued a Proposed Call to Action on Walking, and she wants to hear from you. The public comment period on “Walking as a Way for Americans to Get the Recommended Amount of Physical Activity for Health” is open from April 1 – 30. Details are available at

ACU highlighted the importance of promoting walking for all in our 2012 health promotion calendar. Walking helps maintain weight, reduce high blood pressure, and lower the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke and some cancers. Walking can also improve mental health. We gathered some of the best resources on incorporating walking into your daily routine on our website page on chronic disease prevention.

We particularly like the Every Body Walk campaign, which includes  includes a personal pledge to start walking by making small changes like walking on your lunch break, parking farther way and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. There is a free Every Body Walk app, available on iTunes or Google Play, that will turn your smart phone into a pedometer and help you track distance, time, calories burned and routes.

In many underserved communities, concerns about personal safety and the absence of parks and recreational facilities are barriers to increased walking. Drs. Sarah Kureshi and Kim Bullock tackled this topic in their ACU column The Role of Clinicians to Empower Communities through Utilization of the Built Environment, in which they profile three clinicians who have successfully advocated for improved walkability in communities ranging from Sacrament to Washington, DC and suburban Maryland.

A valuable resource on planning and organizing to improve walkability in your community is Walkability 101: The Walkability Workbook from the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute.

Everybody benefits from walking. Take the pledge to do what you can for yourself, your family and your community.