Half of the adults in the United States are living with a chronic disease which includes heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death in the U.S. The way to reduce this trend may just be a step away. Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities recognizes the importance of physical activity and offers a seemingly simple, yet effective solution: walking.
Being physically active has an amazing number of health benefits including lowering levels of anxiety and depression, protecting against chronic disease, improving quality of life, increasing ease of mobility, and improving emotional and mental health. Despite all these benefits, only one out of two adults reaches their recommended level of physical activity. There are many potential barriers to increasing one’s level of physical activity. Whether it is lack of time, safety concerns, community design, or physical abilities, these barriers can be overcome. The Call to Action aims to break down these barriers and allow all individuals to become more physically active.
The Call to Action includes five goals, with strategies to support walking and walkability. With the Call to Action, the U.S. Surgeon General calls on Americans to be physically active and for the nation to better support walking and walkability for people of all ages and abilities. We all have an important role to play in order to make a difference.