Walking and Walkable Communities

Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities recognizes the importance of physical activity for people of all ages and abilities. It calls on Americans to be more physically active through walking and calls on the nation to better support walking and walkability. Improving walkability means that communities are created or enhanced to make it safe and easy to walk and that pedestrian activity is encouraged for all people. The purpose of the Call to Action is to increase walking across the United States by calling for improved access to safe and convenient places to walk and wheelchair roll and by creating a culture that supports these activities for people of all ages and abilities.

The Call to Action includes five strategic goals to promote walking and walkable communities in the United States:

  • Make walking a national priority
  • Design communities that make it safe and easy to walk for people of all ages and abilities
  • Promote programs and policies to support walking where people live, learn, work, and play
  • Provide information to encourage walking and improve walkability
  • Fill surveillance, research, and evaluation gaps related to walking and walkability

Action by multiple sectors of society, as well as by families and individuals, will be needed to achieve these goals.


To learn more about walking and walkable communities and the Call to Action, visit the resources below.