Just in time for this week’s walk with a doc in Washington, DC (see: Walk With a Doc – Washington, DC , August 10, 2012 | Ted Eytan, MD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (@CDC , @CDCObesity) released this report on the state of walking among adults.
The good news:
More people are walking, 62 % in 2010, compared to 55 % in 2005.
The bad news:
Walking is defined by “one bout of 10 minutes or more of transportation walking or leisure time walking during the past 7 days“
In other words, you are considered a walker if you don’t walk more than 10 minutes for 6 out of 7 days of the week. That’s a lot of non-walking.
In total, 48 % of Americans met the aerobic physical activity goal (150 minutes/week) in 2010, up from 42.1 % in 2005
The more uplifting news:
Adult walkers were between 2 and 3 times more likely to meet the physical activity guideline compared to people who were not walkers. So this says to me that just because they didn’t walk 6 days a week, this didn’t mean they didn’t do anything else. These adults were more likely to do something else that caused them to meet the physical activity guideline (which they did 59.5% of the time).
Phew. I can’t imagine being relatively stationary for 6 out of 7 days of any week.
There’s a very accessible summary of this report in CDC Vital Signs for August, 2012, with useful recommendations, that I’d like to endorse as being related to walk with a doc:
- People need to know where places to walk in their communities exist that are safe and convenient –
- Employers: Create and support walking programs for employees
- Individuals: Start a walking group with friends and neighbors
There are lots of reasons why walking is a good idea, then, and many ways to promote it. I’m adding my own recommendation here (that’s the magic of having a blog):
- Doctors: Walk with your patients, as healers, walk with members of your communities as leaders in health, walk with community leaders as partners in a healthy environment