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Step It Up! The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities

Graphic showing people of all ages and abilities outside walking. Step It Up! The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities.

On September 9, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a “Call to Action” to encourage Americans of all ages and abilities to walk more and to encourage communities to create safe, accessible places for people to walk and wheelchair roll. The Step It Up! Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communitiesoffers strategies for increasing walking and walkable communities for people of all ages and abilities.

The five goals of the Call to Action are:

  1. Make Walking a National Priority
  2. Design Communities that Make It Safe and Easy to Walk for People of All Ages and Abilities
  3. Promote Programs and Policies to Support Walking Where People Live, Learn, Work, and Play
  4. Provide Information to Encourage Walking and Improve Walkability
  5. Fill Surveillance, Research, and Evaluation Gaps Related to Walking and Walkability

The Call to Action was released to combat the rising number of Americans living with chronic disease, such as heart disease and diabetes. Physical activity has numerous benefits, such as positive mental health and healthy aging, and can significantly reduce the risk of chronic diseases and related risk factors. With the Call to Action, the U.S. Surgeon General calls on Americans to be physically active and for the nation to better support walking and walkability for people of all ages and abilities. Many key partners are already involved, but widespread engagement, by individuals, communities, and local governments, is needed to increase the impact of these efforts nation-wide.

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