People are walking more, especially in the West, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2005, 56 percent of adults reported walking for at least 10 minutes a week. Five years later, that percentage was up to 62 percent.
The director of the CDC, Doctor Thomas Frieden, says it's good news.
Frieden: "While walking is most common in the West, where more than two-thirds of people walk -- more than any other region in the country -- people in the South, who have traditionally had higher rates of obesity, and higher rates of heart disease and stroke, actually had the highest percentage increase in the proportion of people who walk."
Stephanie Routh of the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition hopes the new numbers will change government policies.
Routh: "This demonstrates that we need to focus more of our transportation investments in better walking conditions, safer walking conditions. People need safe and convenient places to walk."
The study found people were walking more in all areas of the country, among all ages and across all races. But the CDC says 10 minutes of physical activity a week is not enough. It recommends two and a half hours.
Copyright 2012 Oregon Public Broadcasting