Now Reading: Walking Among Adults – United States, 2005 and 2010

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

We’re heading out again on Friday, August, 10, starting at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health. Come join us, or start your own.

Ted Eytan, MD