Promoting walking and walkable communities: Part one

"Step It Up!" , the US Surgeon General’s call to action to make walking easier and safer.

Photo credit: USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Photo credit: USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The US Surgeon General released “Step It Up! on Sept. 9, 2015, to promote walking and walkable communities. The Step It Up! call to action asks individuals, communities and governments to get involved to make walking easier and safer wherever we are.

Step It Up! has five goals:

  1. Make walking a national priority.
  2. Create safe and convenient places in communities where people can walk.
  3. Promote policies and programs to make it easier to walk wherever you are.
  4. Share where you can walk and how you can improve walking places in your community.
  5. Improve the research behind walking and places to walk. 

These goals are important for Michigan to achieve because over 25 percent of Michigan adults do not get any exercise according to the Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. We are seeing the effects of lack of exercise on our health as almost 50 percent of adults have at least one chronic disease and nearly 70 percent of all deaths in the United States are preventable through lifestyle changes. Exercise is one lifestyle change we can make to prevent chronic disease and walking is an easy and inexpensive way to get the physical activity we need to stay healthy.

Michigan State University Extension offers many health and nutrition workshops throughout Michigan to help residents who are ready to make changes toward a healthier lifestyle. Visit Events on the MSU Extension website and choose your county for a list of workshops near you. 

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