Why Walk? Why Not!

Image of a family walking
Remember to maintain a safe distance between your family and other active people while walking outside.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination each week. The guidelines also recommend that children and adolescents be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Following these guidelines can contribute to overall health, and decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes.

Walking is a great way to get the physical activity needed to obtain health benefits. Walking does not require any special skills. It also does not require a gym membership or expensive equipment. A single bout of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity can improve sleep, memory, and the ability to think and learn. It also reduces anxiety symptoms.

Why not! Add walking as part of your daily routine.

For more information about walking, check out these resources below:

Selected Resources—Learn More about Walking
Connecting Routes & Destinations

The Designing Activity-Friendly Communities website provides information and real-world examples about how to increase physical activity in communities by creating or modifying environments to make it easier for people to walk or bike.

Image of a Mall building

Mall Walking: A Program Resource Guide [PDF-5.51MB] The Mall Walking Guide provides information about the health benefits of walking, explains why mall walking programs can help people walk more, and provides practical strategies for starting and maintaining walking programs.


Cover: Science- In Brief: RESEARCH and FINDINGS - Environmental Supports for Physical Activity National Health Interview Survey, 2015

Environmental Supports for Physical Activity National Health Interview Survey, 2015 [PDF-544KB]
Although walking is an easy and popular form of physical activity, barriers exist. Walking is especially difficult for older adults and for those living in the South, where chronic disease rates are high. Creating or modifying environments to make it easier and safer for people to walk, and adding places to walk to, can help increase physical activity and make communities better places to live.

Step It Up! Surgeon General's Call to Action cover page

Step it Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities presents five goals and supporting implementation strategies to help Americans be physically active and for the nation to better support walking and walkable communities for people of all ages and abilities.


Everybody Walks logo

Every Body Walk! is a campaign aimed at getting Americans up and moving. This site features information about the health benefits of walking, news, videos, and events. The Every Body Walk! collaborative is a partnership of national, state and local organizations, federal agencies, businesses, and professional associations that are committed to developing and implementing collective approaches that can return walking to a valued, cultural norm for all Americans.

America Walks logo

America Walks offers resources for increasing walking and expanding walkable communities. Together, America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative boast 700 allied organizations who across the nation are working to increase walking and make America a better place to walk.

Promoting Airport Walking

The Airport Walking Guide [PDF-2.35MB] was developed as part of CDC’s Walk to Fly project to encourage airport travelers (through point of decision signage) to make active choices.

Additional External Resources
Report cover: Bicycling %26 Walking in the United States. 2018

The 2018 Bicycling and Walking Benchmarking Report combines original research with over 20 government data sources to compile data on bicycling and walking levels and demographics, safety, funding, policies, infrastructure, education, public health indicators, and economic impacts.


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