Newswise — INDIANAPOLIS – Kaiser Permanente and the American College of Sports Medicine have announced a partnership to advance the burgeoning Every Body Walk! Collaborative. ACSM, a medical and scientific society which is already a lead partner in Every Body Walk!, will help engage physicians and other medical professionals to encourage walking to prevent and reduce chronic diseases.
“ACSM brings its high credibility and established relationships with so many organizations and professionals that are needed as part of this walking movement,” said Tyler Norris, Kaiser Permanente’s vice president for Total Health Partnerships and a guiding light of Every Body Walk! and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative. “That's why we asked ACSM to take a special role in this campaign. We’ve charged them with energizing the medical community so that everyone gets a prescription to walk for health. Every Body Walk! is based on the growing body of evidence that shows physical activity is a wonder drug, and walking is its most universal form.”
The appeal of walking as Americans’ favorite form of exercise was highlighted at the 2013 Walking Summit, held Oct. 1-3 in Washington, DC. Almost 400 representatives from scores of partner organizations gathered to plan strategies based on the latest research and best practices. Survey results released at the Summit show that Americans overwhelmingly favor street designs that make walking safer and that they want to walk more, but also identified barriers that keep people from doing so. (For information on the 2013 Walking Summit, please see http://www.everybodywalk.org/media_assets/WalkingAsAWayOfLife1_Final.pdf).
“There’s no doubt that walking (and rolling, for those who use wheelchairs) is a preferred public health strategy for the U.S. and worldwide,” said James R. Whitehead, CEO of the American College of Sports Medicine. “In fact, the United Nations has identified physical inactivity as a leading cause of non-communicable diseases. ACSM is committed to improving health through science, education and medicine, and encouraging walking for its many benefits is central to who we are.”
The Every Body Walk! Collaborative’s diverse partner organizations reflect the numerous complementary benefits of walking. From health care providers like Kaiser Permanente and high-profile advocates such as America Walks to government agencies, business leaders, school advocates and trade organizations, walking provides a common link to advancing their missions. Norris and Whitehead say they welcome inquiries from organizations that might consider joining the collaborative (contact firstname.lastname@example.org). “We have so much to gain as individuals, organizations and a society,” says Norris about accelerating the emerging national movement to promote walking and walkability. “With ACSM and our growing list of active partners, Every Body Walk! is poised for gratifying impact and results.”
For information, please visit www.everybodywalk.org.