Surgeon General Regina Benjamin is getting ready to go halfway there. She announced in December that she’d be issuing a call to action on walking sometime in 2014. Yesterday, she and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked for help crafting the call.
The CDC opened a docket yesterday to solicit information from the public “on walking as an effective way to be sufficiently active for health.” That information will be used as part of the call to action.
The wording is notable. The CDC is making the case that even if walking is the only exercise you do, it could be “sufficient” to stay healthy. It echoes the recent findings of Australian researchers, who concluded that going to the gym isn’t as effective as active transportation at keeping weight off – largely because it’s easier to work exercise into your day when it accomplishes two goals at once.
What the CDC is trying to do is identify not only what government agencies can do, but what civic organizations, health care providers, educational institutions, worksites, industry, and others can do to provide access to “safe, attractive and convenient places to walk (and wheelchair roll).”
The CDC is off to a good start even before the public chimes in with its collective wisdom. The request for public comment laid out the scope of the problem: