A call to action issued by the US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, says that walking may cure many chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and that it should be made into a national health priority.
He shared that “The science tells us that 22 minutes of brisk walking or moderate physical activity can get you these health benefits of reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes”, but also added that only half of Americans get enough physical exercise.
Indeed, health professions believe that every average adult requires 22 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity, on a daily basis, to stay healthy. On a weakly basis, this translates into a minimum of 150 minutes.
Many recent studies have looked at this issue, and experts are finally starting to agree that the biggest problem may not be the people’s willingness to take a stroll through the park, but the unwalkable communities where they have their home as over 30 percent (30%) of them make it physically impossible for individuals to walk around.
Experts have identified two (2) main reasons for why so many US citizens have gotten to be in this situation. The first one is that people often need to drive their car or take a bus ride before they can even reach a space in their community where they can actually walk.
The second reason is that taking a walk in American communities has proven to be quite a dangerous practice. According to various studies and statistics, 4.700 pedestrians lost their lives in 2013 after colliding with cars, and 50.000 pedestrians lost their lives back in 2003 after colliding with cars.
However, Dr. Murthy also admitted that American people have “lost the culture of physical activity”. What this means is that officials not only have to make sure that the communities are friendlier for pedestrians, but also that people can see the befit of taking a daily walk and that they’ll do so once their streets are revamped.
The National Institute of Health warns that and one third of United States citizens are currently overweight, and an additional third are currently obese. What’s more, 5 percent (5%) of the entire US population can currently be labeled morbidly obese.
Unfortunately, Dr. Murthy also informed that certain ethnic, racial, and age groups have an even harder time than the rest of us. Researchers have found that the individuals who tend to live in unwalkable communities are usually people with disabilities, people of color, and seniors of all races. The explanation is that “That’s a health equity issue”.
As 7 in 10 American citizens develop chronic disease (obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer) and die from it, the US Surgeon General believes that the physical exercise problem should be solved sooner rather than later. He said that walking, “something we have been doing for millennia”, should be an ideal solution to this problem.
And he made it clear that the walking problem also includes the rolling problem as wheelchair-bound individuals have an even harder time finding a space where they can move around.
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