ALBUQUERQUE ― Heart disease, diabetes and cancer affect 117 million people in the United States, taking huge tolls on families and the health care system, which prompted the Surgeon General of the United States, Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, to release a report calling for communities to take specific actions to improve walkability.
Vivek’s report, Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities, advocates increased walking across the country by improving access to safe and convenient places to walk and wheelchair roll, as well as creating a culture that supports these activities for people of all ages and abilities.
The Alliance of New Mexico YMCAs is sharing the call to action in support of health. In the coming months, the Alliance hopes to partner with existing organizations and groups to help raise awareness and partner to support steps for improvement.
“My goal for this Call to Action is for each one of us to recognize and embrace our role in building the great American community, a place where being physically active is not only easier but also more engaging and fun,” Vivek said.
Vivek says that while walking is one of the most common forms of physical activity, barriers remain in some neighborhoods that make it difficult for individuals and families to engage safely in the activity, including concerns about crime and a lack of sidewalks or pathways for pedestrians. His report calls for communities to examine issues and implement improvements in roadway and neighborhood designs.
The Director for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden supports walking for health. “Physical activity is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” he said.
Organizations interested in partnering to raise awareness and promote walkable and rollable communities may contact The Family YMCA’s Senior Program Director Diana Martinez, at 505.662.3100, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Surgeon General’s Call to action is available here.