Problem: Americans need more physical activity
Less than half of all adults get the recommended amount of physical
Adults need at least 2 and 1/2 hours (150 minutes) a week
of aerobic physical activity. This should be at a moderate level, such as
a fast-paced walk for no less than 10 minutes at a time.
Women and older adults are not as likely to get the
recommended level of weekly physical activity.
Inactive adults have higher risk for early death, heart
disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.
Regular physical activity helps people get and keep a
Walkable communities result in more physical activity.
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.
US government is:
with partners to carry out the National Prevention Strategy to
make physical activity easier
where people live, work, and play
people get active through programs like Community
and Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity state
and by working
like Safe Routes to Schools
ways that communities can make it easy and convenient for
to be more active.
State or local governments can:
Consider walking when creating long-range community plans.
Consider designing local streets and roadways that are safe for people who
walk and other road users.
Consider opportunities to let community residents use local school tracks
or gyms after classes have finished.
sure existing sidewalks and walking paths are kept in good condition, well
lit and free of problems such as snow, rocks, trash, and fallen tree
Promote walking paths with signs that are easy to read, and route maps
that the public can easily find and use.
Create and support walking programs for employees.
Identify walking paths around or near the work place and promote them with
signs and route maps.
Provide places at work to shower or change clothes, when possible.
Start a walking group with friends and neighbors.
others walk more safely by driving the speed limit and yielding to people
crosswalks and crossing signals when crossing streets and not jaywalk.
Participate in local planning efforts that identify best sites for walking
paths and sidewalks.
with parents and schools to encourage children to walk to school where
For more information, please contact:
Telephone: 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)
TTY: (888) 232-6348
for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333