Everybody Walks

Everybody Walks in Berkeley

Start the New Year with a new healthy tradition.  Be part of “Everybody Walks in Berkeley!”  Sponsored by the City of Berkeley, Berkeley Unified School District, BEST, Walk & Roll Berkeley, and Berkeley community residents, "Everybody Walks in Berkeley" days is the first Wednesday of every month. 

To participate, simply:

Walk to school

Walk with your dog

Walk to work

Walk on errands

Walk for fun

Walk up and down the stairs

Walk for recreation

Walk in the rain

Walk for exercise

Walk to the library

Walk at lunch and on breaks

Walk with a friend or neighbor

Walk as a group for social fun

Walk to the store

Walk with your children

O.K., you get the idea.

The benefits of walking include improved health.  Lack of physical activity is an important contributor to many of the most important chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and high blood pressure. 

·        In 1998, there were 474 deaths in Berkeley due to chronic disease, representing 68% of all deaths in the city and accounting for over 950 years of potential life lost.

·        Among preventable causes, only smoking kills more Californians annually.

 

Lack of physical activity, along with poor nutrition, is a major contributor to the growing epidemic of obesity in the United States. 

·        45% of women and 60% of men in California were overweight in 2001.

·        An additional 19% of women and 17% of men in California were obese in 2001.

·        National data indicate that about 15% of children aged 6 through 19 are overweight, tripling since the 1960s.

Most Americans of all ages are physically inactive.  Throughout the 1990’s, only about 1 in 4 Americans met federal exercise guidelines.

·        The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise—such as brisk walking—five days a week, or at least 20 minutes of vigorous intensity, high-aerobic exercise three days per week.

·        The CDC reports that nationwide 29 percent of all students, kindergarten through 12th grade, don't attend physical education classes.

·        When asked how they would improve their health, 43% of 400 Berkeley residents surveyed in March of 2000 said they would be more active.  Over 40% of Latinos, 35% of African Americans and 26% of Whites stated they were not active for more than 10 minutes a day at least 3 days a week.

 Chronic Disease, Obesity and Inactivity are financially costly.  Typical annual costs for California adults include:

·        Physical inactivity: $15.8 billion

·        Obesity: $6.6 billion

·        Overweight: $2.2 billion

 There are benefits for small increases in physical activity.  An 11-year study of over 10,000 people showed that even moderately improving one's fitness could substantially reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.  Every little bit counts.  You don't need to get your exercise all at once.

 For more information, please contact Kate Clayton, Chronic Disease Prevention Program Manager, via email or phone at 981-5314.