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Surgeon General calls for walkable communities

The discussion in Central Iowa about crafting urban designs that favor walking and bicycling got an assist from U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Wednesday morning.

Murthy called on Americans to walk more to fight widespread chronic disease related to inactivity.

The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization in recent months has brought in a series of speakers who espoused the idea of making communities less about making it easier to drive and more about catering to walkers and bicyclists.

Iowa’s public-private Healthiest State Initiative plans a walk in October and is a steady champion of activity. And Des Moines has a pilot project designed to make downtown more friendly to walkers.

With half of Americans suffering from a chronic disease – and two-thirds overweight – Murthy wants Americans to make walking a priority, USA Today reported. “I’m asking for individuals and communities across America to reclaim the culture of physical activity that we once had,” said Murthy. “It’s not just a call for individuals to walk more, but for all of us to make communities more walkable.”

In many parts of the country, going for a walk isn’t as simple as it sounds, Murthy said. He pushed communities to address issues that prevent people from being able to walk in their neighborhoods.

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