Yesterday, the U.S. Surgeon General hosted an online webcast of their initiative to make communities more walkable. Unfortunately, I had to miss the broadcast. However, I am reading through the PDF version of his presentation and want to hit the key points he made in his new promotion.
First, chronic disease is highlighted. In 2012, 50% of American adults reportedly had a chronic disease. This number is very alarming. I would also like to point out that people may not even know if they have a chronic disease because they never visit the doctor, so the number could actually be higher. The report breaks down how many people have had a stroke, cancer, diabetes, and so on. It really is frightening to think of how poorly we, as a country, take care of ourselves.
The next part of the presentation focused on the benefits of physical activity for both children and adults.
Improved cardio fitness, improved muscular fitness, improved bone health, healthy body composition, improved metabolic health.
Longevity, lower risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, metabolic syndrome, prevention of weight gain, weight loss (in conjunction with proper diet), improved cardio fitness, improved muscular fitness, decreased depression symptoms, prevention of injury, and better cognitive function.
Wow -- just listing the benefits is motivating! I know that I have family members and friends who suffer from almost all of the chronic diseases listed. It’s hard to think about people you care for who may be suffering and that it can be prevented or controlled.
Presented next is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Lastly (for part one), here are some numbers for the current state of physical activity.
Take that in!
To read about the Surgeon General’s Walkable Communities campaign, please see my resource at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/walking-and-walkable-communities/call-to-action-walking-and-walkable-communites.pdf
I will continue to write about the Walkable Communities Initiative. Next up we find out why the focus has shifted to creating walkable communities and how this can benefit the health of the Kansas City and other metropolitan areas around the country.