Health and Walking

Walking is a terrific way to get healthier. Not only is it excellent recreational exercise, but walking for utilitarian purposes (to work, school, run errands, etc.) is a great way to squeeze some physical activity into a busy schedule. Fewer than half of Americans get the recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity (link).   Being more physically active can lower the risk of the following (link):

  • Early death
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Breast and colon cancer
  • Falls
  • Depression

Many scientific studies indicate that getting out of the car and walking makes you healthier. People who walk to work, for example, weigh less than people who drive (link and link). Every hour a day spent in a car increases your likelihood of becoming obese by 6%, and every kilometer a day that you walk decreases your likelihood of becoming obese by 5% (link). People who live in walkable neighborhoods get about 35-45 more minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week and are substantially less likely to be overweight or obese than similar people living in neighborhoods that are less walkable (link).

(Photo credit Elly Blue)