A Great Day for Physical Activity and Inclusion!

September 9, 2015
US Surgeon General Launches Campaign with National Call to Action on Walking
Effort highlights health benefits of walking while addressing barriers to access

Yesterday, the United States Surgeon General issued a call to action to address major public health challenges such as heart disease and diabetes. Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities articulates the health benefits of walking while addressing the fact that many communities unacceptably lack safe and convenient places for individuals to walk or wheelchair roll.

“Everyone deserves to have a safe place to walk or wheelchair roll. But in too many of our communities, that is not the reality,” said Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the 19th U.S. Surgeon General. “We know that an active lifestyle is critical to achieving good overall health. And walking is a simple, effective and affordable way to build physical activity into our lives. That is why we need to step it up as a country ensuring that everyone can choose to walk in their own communities.”

The Surgeon General calls on community planners and local leaders to create more areas for walking and wheelchair rolling and to prioritize the development of safe routes for children to get to and from schools. The call to action suggests that these designs should include sidewalks, curb cuts, crosswalks, safe crossings for the visually impaired and more green spaces. The Surgeon General further calls on city managers, law enforcement and community and public health leaders to address safety concerns by better maintaining public spaces, working with residents to promote a shared sense of community ownership, ensuring proper street lighting and fostering neighborhood watch programs.

To read the Surgeon General’s Call to Action and learn how to promote walking and walkable communities, please visit www.surgeongeneral.gov.

Follow the Surgeon General on Twitter @Surgeon_General, on Facebook, and on Instagram and Join the conversation with #StepItUp.
As a leader in the promotion of physical activity for people with disability, NCHPAD was pleased to play a role and be present at the launch event.  This Call to Action fully supports the inclusion of people with disability in walking and walkable community efforts.  At the announcement event Dr. Murthy stated that, “Everyone deserves a safe place to walk and wheelchair roll.  Walking has been a symbol of or is a vehicle of inclusion.” To leverage the momentum for the disability community and to ensure that all future public health messages are inclusive, NCHPAD has pioneered the How I Walk movement to rebrand the word “walking”.

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