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Walking and Rolling in 2017

When it comes to walking, small steps can add up and make a big difference in our health.

HHS staff walk by the U.S. Capitol.

In 2015, I issued a “Call to Action” on walking. Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities encourages all of us to walk for our health and also, to raise awareness about the need for safe places to do so in urban and rural communities. Having safe places to walk not only promotes health and well-being but also helps communities build social cohesion and unity.  Local economies may also benefit in areas where people can live and walk to where they shop, dine, and just hang out. 

For me, walking is not only a public health priority; it is also a personal priority. A few years ago, I made the conscious decision to make walking a bigger part of my life. Whenever possible, I choose to walk instead of drive. I started walking to and from work.  Instead of catching up with friends over coffee, I began connecting with them by walking together.

Last year, I participated in the Step It Up! Challenge as a Special Guest, powered by FitBit, where people could measure their walking against mine. I’m pleased to share that more than 600,000 people across the country virtually joined me in the Step It Up! Challenge. Together we walked more than 60 billion steps. That’s enough to circle the earth 1,152 times!

In honor of American Heart Month, I encourage you to commit to making walking a greater part of your life. Be creative and think of places and spaces in your community that can be used for walking, such as shopping malls, school track fields and faith-based centers. Walking can be modified for individual needs and preferences, making it accessible and adaptable for Americans of all ages and stages. For persons living with disabilities, walking or moving with assistive devices is also possible. So let’s remember that when it comes to walking, small steps can add up and make a big difference in our health.

Join the @Surgeon_General and #StepItUp in 2017! Small steps can add up and make a big difference in our health. http://go.usa.gov/x9u8c


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