Surgeon General Calls on Americans to Walk More

Leading Public Health Schools Say Easy Way to Start is doing the Monday Mile

Sep 09, 2015, 12:00 ET from The Monday Campaigns

NEW YORK, Sept. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy issued today a Call to Action on Walking and Walkability. Dr. Murthy's report emphasizes the importance of walking for improving people's physical and mental health. His "marching orders for health" encourage communities to create safe and accessible walking opportunities and to conduct programs to help make walking an integral part of people's daily lives.  The Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion at Columbia, Johns Hopkins and Syracuse universities have started Monday Mile programs on their campuses and in their communities. Monday Mile walks provide a fun, easy way for individuals, families, schools, hospitals and workplaces to give the week a healthy start.       

The Lerner Center at Syracuse University joined with the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County to create 17 marked one-mile routes throughout the city.  Tom Dennison, center director, said the key to success was collaboration. "We worked with the Mayor, Parks Department, Health Department, local community groups and workplaces to ensure the paths were safe and accessible, then coordinated a launch with the Mayor leading the inaugural Monday Mile. Now we have requests from communities all over the county asking for their Monday Mile route."

On the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore campus, deans, professors, school administrators and fitness instructors take turns in leading the Monday Mile walks. David Holtgrave, interim director of their Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion remarked, "The Monday Mile is a great way to bring our community together – it gives students, faculty and staff an opportunity to interact in an informal and healthy activity, and it encourages everyone to set a pattern of healthy behavior for the rest of the week." 

The Columbia Lerner Center collaborated with Columbia University Office of Work/Life to add Move It Monday messages to their walking program for university employees. "The American workforce is becoming increasingly sedentary," said Gina Wingood, director of the Lerner Center at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. "Facilitating regular walking groups is an important way of supporting the health and well-being of our community."

Why Monday?  "Research shows that people are more likely to commit to an exercise program on Monday, and that those who start their week with exercise are more likely to keep exercising throughout the week," Sid Lerner, founder of the Centers explained.

The Monday Mile is part of the Monday Campaigns which encourages people of all fitness levels to get moving each week starting on Monday.  They offer a free Monday Mile Starter Kit and Resources for workplaces, campuses and community groups to start the own program.

Download the kit at:

NOTE TO MEDIA: Video footage of faculty, students and community members is available at:

About the Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion and The Monday Campaigns

The Monday Campaigns was founded by Sid Lerner, retired advertising executive and long-time public health advocate.  Meatless Monday was the first Monday campaign in 2003 and is now in 39 countries, supported by celebrities, food companies, restaurants, hospitals and schools.  He started the Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion at Columbia, Johns Hopkins and Syracuse universities to help bring marketing best practices to public health, promoting the healthy behaviors needed to prevent chronic diseases.

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SOURCE The Monday Campaigns