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Step It Up! Surgeon General Launches Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities

Washington, D.C. September 9, 2015 --

Today, the United States Surgeon General issued a call to action to address the major public health problem, physical inactivity. Step It Up! The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communitites articulates the health benefits of walking while addressing the face that many communitities unacceptably lack safe and convenient places for individuals to walk or wheelchair roll.

"Reversing the epidemic of physical inactivity will take leadership and collaboration across several sectors of society. The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) applauds the Surgeon General for his leadership in encouraging Americans to lead more active lifestyles. His efforts to promote physical activity will undoubtedly help improve the health of the American public" said Tom Richards, President of the NCPPA Board of Directors and Director of Corporate Engagement at the American Council on Exercise.

Click the image to watch a video describing the Surgeon General's Call to Action

The Surgeon General's report discusses the health benefits of walking and calls on individuals to make walking a priority in their lives. Fewer than half of all U.S. adults get enough physical activity to reduce their risk of chronic disease, and only a quarter of high school students get the recommended amount. According to the Physical Activity Council's annual survey, 83 million Americans age 6 and over, or 28 percent of the population reported that htey did not once partcipate in physical activity. These "totally sedentary" Americans are putting their health at risk. Physical inactivity contributes to heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer, which account for 86% of our nation's health care costs. Building walking into daily life can reduce disease and save money.

"We know that an average of 22 minutes a day of physical activity – such as brisk walking – can significantly reduce the risk of health disease and diabetes," added Dr Vivek Murthy, US Surgeon General. "The key is to get started because even a small first effort can make a big difference in improving the personal health of an individual and the public health of the nation."

The launch included remarks by representatives from NCPPA. Dr. Jack Groppel, Co-Founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performane Institute and National Spokesperson for the NCPPA CEO Pledge for Physical Activity, spoke passionately about the importance of increasing walking at the worksite. "A healthier workforce means a healthier bottom line for America's businesses," said Groppel. "If employees are not only physically active, but get up and move often and at regular intervals throughout their workday, they are more focused, engaged and energized."

The Call to Action aligns very closely with the NCPPA CEO Pledge for Physical Activity. THe purpose of the Pledge is to unite leaders with the common goal that we must get America moving. The first step towards making this happen is through our national, regional, and community leaders. To dat, more than 350 CEOs, Presidents and other leaders have signed the Pledge

For more information on NCPPA's CEO Pledge for Physical Activity, including how sign the Pledge, please visit NCPPA's CEO Pledge web portal, which includes a video message from Dr. Jack Groppel.

To read the Surgeon General's Call to Action and learn how to promote walking and walkable communities, please visit http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/walking-and-walkable-communi... 

About the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity

NCPPA is a leading force in the country promoting physical activity and fitness initiatives. We are a diverse blend of associations, health organizations, and private corporations, advocating for policies that encourage Americans of all ages to become more physically active.