The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that more than 145 million adults now include walking as part of a physically active lifestyle. More than 6 in 10 people walk for transportation or for fun, relaxation, or exercise, or for activities such as walking the dog. The percentage of people who report walking at least once for 10 minutes or more in the previous week rose from 56% (2005) to 62% (2010).
Physical activity helps control weight, but it has other benefits. Physical activity such as walking can help improve health even without weight loss. People who are physically active live longer and have a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Improving spaces and having safe places to walk can help more people become physically active.
More people are walking, but just how many depends on where they live, their health, and their age.
- The West and Northeast regions have the highest percentage of adults who walk in the country, but the South showed the largest percent increase of adults who walk compared to the other regions.
- More adults with arthritis or high blood pressure are now walking, but not those with type 2 diabetes.
- Walking increased among adults 65 or older, but less than in other age groups.
People need safe, convenient places to walk.
- People are more likely to walk and move about more when they feel protected from traffic and safe from crime and hazards.
- Maintaining surfaces can keep people who walk from falling and getting hurt. This also helps wheelchairs and strollers and is safer for people with poor vision.
- People need to know where places to walk in their communities exist that are safe and convenient.
- Walking routes in and near neighborhoods encourage people to walk to stops for buses, trains, and trolleys.
Find a safe place to walk today.