The Surgeon General recognizes the importance of physical activity and walking for people of all ages and abilities through the latest Call to Action – “Step It Up!” And, we certainly agree! Sedentary lifestyles and the lack of walkable communities have officially been called out as health hazards during the Surgeon General’s latest call to action and the public was offered the solution of “exercise as medicine.” Step It Up! launched today in an announcement that included a diverse group of representatives from the U.S. government, education, health community, walking advocacy organizations, and advocates of persons with disability,. The Call to Action is now available online and highlights the specific diseases and challenges Americans face as a result of low physical activity and the merits of walking and promoting walkable communities as a simple, affordable way to combat these persisting problems. In the Call to Action, the issue of why people do not walk more is discussed, what the consequences are of this phenomenon and what strategies should be employed to improve health outcomes, increase walking and advance community walkability. A broad coalition of sectors is called upon to partner with and to take action towards the goals of promoting more walking and walkable communities, including America Walks and Safe Routes to School!
The Call to Action emphasizes walking and its positive impacts on education by promoting Safe Routes to School programs, incorporating more walking opportunities into classroom activities, endorsing design as a tool to ensure that communities are safe and convenient places to walk, and encouraging children to walk to and from school. For students of all ages and abilities, the Call to Action is an important step in continuing to recognize the health, societal and educational benefits that can be gained from more walkable communities and programs that encourage walking to and from school.
To view the webcast of the launch event of Step It Up! And for more information on the Call to Action, visit http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/stepitup
We applaud Step it Up! in making walking a priority across the nation!