Celebrate Every Body Walk! Week - September 19-23, 2011

Incorporate a 30-minute walk into your day

Sep 19, 2011, 08:00 ET from Kaiser Permanente

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Trade your car keys for comfortable walking shoes and take to the streets in celebration of the first Every Body Walk! Week September 19-23.

Every Body Walk! Week is a national movement to counteract increasingly sedentary lifestyles that contribute to the growing number of people diagnosed with heart disease and diabetes. Research has proven that walking as little as 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of these chronic diseases, as well as cancer, stroke and depression.

"Every Body Walk! aims to inform people about the tremendous health benefits of walking," said Bob Sallis, MD, family physician at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. "Walking is an excellent form of exercise for everyone. For those with conditions like diabetes, asthma, heart disease and depression, a regular walking regimen has the added benefit of helping to manage these diseases. I'm a strong believer in the power of walking, and that's why I literally prescribe it to my patients– often in place of medications."

Two forums on walking are being held during Every Body Walk! Week at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington, D.C.

The Walking Summit on Tuesday, Sept. 20, will start the national conversation on walking with noted experts in public health, research and walkable communities. Speakers include Karim Khan, MD, University of British Columbia; Scott Bricker, America Walks; Keith Laughlin, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and other notable names. The summit will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Summit will explain to policymakers why creating a walking agenda for America may be the single most successful campaign that is functionally achievable for preventing and mitigating chronic conditions in America. The Summit will explain programs that can help reduce the impact of the chronic care issues that are being addressed this week at the United Nations.

Friday, Sept. 23, will feature a Forum on Walking and Kids that will address the economic, environmental, transit and safety aspects of creating a culture of walking. A panel discussion on walking to school is also planned. Speakers include Chris Leinberger, Brookings Institute; Heather Deutsch, District Department of Transit; Neha Bhatt, SmartGrowth America; and Beth Richards, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, to name a few.  The forum will run from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Forum will be followed by a noontime walking school bus with D.C.-area school children led by the Samurai Power Rangers, stars of the #1 kids action series. With Power Rangers emPOWER, the Rangers are teaching kids and families how to put the Power Rangers values of teamwork, confidence, health and physical activity into action.

Additionally, the campaign will host two public walks on Wednesday, Sept. 21:

The Iverson Mall walkers, one of the longest running and most active groups of mallwalkers will celebrate Every Body Walk! Week with special morning walk on Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Iverson Mall in Hillcrest Heights, Md.

In the afternoon, Every Body Walk! will host a walking tour of the Metropolitan Branch Trail beginning at 400 S Street, NE in Washington, D.C.  The walking tour will take place between 1 p.m.  and 3 p.m..

Activities held in Washington, D.C., coincide with the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases in New York City, which focuses on minimizing and managing chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, which are so prevalent in our country today.

"Every Body Walk! is relevant to every American, every business, every city and every state. Kaiser Permanente is making the project tools available to get anyone who wants to adopt a walking program and spread the word about potentially remarkable resulting health benefits," said George Halvorson, chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente.

Every Body Walk!, launched earlier this year, is an online educational campaign aimed at getting people up and walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week. A walking hub, www.everybodywalk.org, contains news and resources on walking, health information, inspirational videos, walking maps, links to walking groups and a personal pledge form to start walking. Engage with Every Body Walk! on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Every Body Walk! is powered by Kaiser Permanente. Campaign partners include the American College of Sports Medicine and their Exercise Is Medicine® global initiative, Rails to Trails Conservancy, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, AnyTime Fitness and The Purpose Institute.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.8 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.

Danielle Cass, Kaiser Permanente
510-910-9647 (cell)

Randi Kahn, Golin Harris
703-522-0208 (office)
631-697-8310 (cell)


1) Walking strengthens the heart muscle, improves the health of blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, increases glucose tolerance, and enhances insulin sensitivity.

  • Walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week can halve the risk of heart disease.

2) Walking increases endorphin production and neuron development, helping to reduce depression and anxiety.

3) If you have to make a choice between regular walking and going on a weight-loss diet – it is better to choose walking.

  • Walking improves your health even if you don’t lose weight because of the unique physical benefits gained through exercise.
  • Walking 30 minutes per day five days a week is better for your health than losing 20 pounds alone. Even though you have lost the weight, you have not triggered the physiological benefits of walking.

4) Walking 30 minutes per day five days a week can help cut new cases of diabetes in half (50 percent reduction), according to the landmark 2001 Diabetes Prevention Program study.

  • This is due to increased glucose tolerance and enhanced insulin sensitivity.

5) Not walking (inactivity) for a week has about the same harmful health effects as smoking a pack of cigarettes.

  • A New England Journal of Medicine report showed an unhealthy “high-risk lifestyle” (which equates inactivity and obesity with smoking) decreases “functional capacity” of the body.

6) Walking can reduce the risk of getting certain cancers, and reduce the risk of recurrence and mortality for certain cancers.

  • According to a 2005 Nurses’ Health Study, for women recovering from breast cancer, regular walking reduces the relative risk of recurrence and mortality by about 50 percent. The most dramatic response was in women with hormone-responsive tumors.
  • Women who walk regularly are 31% less likely to develop colon cancer than those who exercise less than one hour per week, a 2007 Nurses’ Health Study found.
  • Prostate cancer patients who walk 90 minutes per week have nearly 50% lower mortality risk, according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health.  

7) Walking strengthens bones and helps prevent osteoporosis.

  • The CDC reports that people who do 120 to 300 minutes of at least moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week have a lower risk of hip fracture.
  • JAMA reports 55 percent lower risk of hip fractures among women walkers.

8) Walking can help reduce the risk of stroke.  

  • A Journal of the American Heart Association study showed people who walk briskly 30 minutes a day have nearly a 25 percent reduction in the risk of having a stroke.

9) Walking can strengthen your immune system

  • Walking 45 minutes a day halves the odds of catching a cold.
  • Walking 20-25 minutes per week can extend life by several years.

10) Walking can improve quality of life for people with arthritis.

  • Walking can reduce pain and improve function, mobility, mood and quality of life, without worsening symptoms.

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente