Hawaii Adults Can “Step It Up!” By Taking More Walks

Posted on Sep 24, 2015 in Ola Lokahi

runningMore than one in two Hawaii adults are currently overweight or obese, and one in five is living with at least one chronic disease or condition, such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer.  That’s sobering news.

The good news? Physically active adults are healthier and less likely to become obese or develop chronic diseases than adults who are sedentary, regardless of their gender or ethnicity.

Current national physical activity guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week. That can include activities as simple as brisk walks. Unfortunately, only 40 percent of Hawaii adults meet this recommendation.

Walking as part of your daily routine can help meet recommendations for daily moderate exercise and yield long term health benefits. That’s why U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, MD, recently released a groundbreaking call to action titled, “Step It Up!” to promote walking and creating communities that are safer and more walkable. To a view the video from the Surgeon General’s office on how you can make walking part of your routine and make your community more walkable, click here.

“Walking is a simple form of physical activity people of all ages can do,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, Director of Health. “Engaging in a physical activity like walking on a regular basis protects and improves our health and wellness.”

The Hawaii State Department of Health promotes walking and other forms of physical activity by supporting the implementation of Community Plans and Complete Streets policies to provide opportunities for walking and active transportation.  In 2016, the Department of Health will use federal funds to launch “wayfinding” sign projects in every county, which will provide directions and indicate distance to destinations in high-traffic pedestrian areas, trails and bike lanes.