Walking with the U.S. Surgeon General
More than 100 organizations, businesses, universities, and government agencies started a Walking Revolution–now we need your help!
For more than 20 years, I’ve been writing or editing articles or books about walking, giving presentations on walking, coaching walkers, walking 5Ks, 10Ks, half and full marathons, leading walking trips, evaluating the walkability of cities, and coordinating initiatives to make America more walkable. But what happened in Washington, D.C., this past December was amazing and renewed my belief that in the next few years we are going to see walking gain the respect it deserves and get a greater number of Americans walking more than they ever have! In addition to health benefits, walking can also have a positive effect on the environment and economy, build a sense of community, and make areas safer.
A key player in making all this happen is California-based Kaiser Permanente, the largest nonprofit integrated health plan, and their Every Body Walk campaign. Their doctors are giving patients pedometers and prescribing walking before drugs (love that!), and they’re running ads on TV to encourage people to walk more. In fact, they’re producing a documentary on walking (more on that once it’s ready for release). Along with Kaiser, the American College of Sports Medicine, America Walks, and the Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership sponsored the conference.
At the meeting, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced her intention to propose a Call to Action on walking, which would identify actions and opportunities for all sectors of society to increase walking and walkability throughout the nation by providing access to safe, attractive, and convenient places to walk (and wheelchair roll) and creating a culture that supports walking for Americans of all ages and abilities.
To make that happen, the Surgeon General wants to hear from you! Until April 30, you can share your ideas and experiences for getting more Americans walking and making America more walkable. No comment is too small. Here’s what others have already posted. And the more people who contribute, the bigger an impact we will make. If you are part of an organization or business that supports walking, please also sign onto a joint letter to the Surgeon General from America Walks.
Please take a few minutes to help support walking!