Mall Walking: A Program Resource Guide

University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center

Inside a shopping mall

A Prevention Research Center Tool Showing Evidence of Effectiveness


Mall Walking: A Program Resource Guide helps mall managers and community groups successfully start and keep up a walking program, providing a safe and noncompetitive environment for exercise. For older adults especially, malls provide a sheltered and secure location to walk, with benches, water fountains, and restrooms nearby. The guide addresses things to consider when setting up such a program, including people to run it, transportation, safety, costs, and attracting participants. The guide also provides examples of successful mall walking programs around the United States, suggestions for thinking beyond the basics, and possibilities for other locations where there is no mall, such as an arena or a school. The appendix has a sample enrollment form, flyers and brochures, and a walking log.


The authors developed the guide on the basis of a review of research on mall walking programs,1 environmental reviews of malls and other locations with walking programs, and interviews conducted with mall walkers and walking program directors. This guide supports the US Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. The following project advisory group members endorse the tool: National Center on Senior Transportation (NCST), ACL, Senior Services, National Council on Aging, MaineHealth, YMCA of USA, International Council on Active Aging, Walk with a Doc, Evidence-Based Leadership Council, and the Arthritis Foundation.

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  1. Farren L, Belza B, Allen P, et al. Mall walking program environments, features, and participants: a scoping review. Prev Chron Dis. 2015;12:E129. Accessed February 4, 2017.