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Walking and Community Walkability Take Center Stage

Catherine is a senior communications professional helping social change organizations tell their story in powerful ways. She has expertise in public health, environmental stewardship, philanthropy and education. Follow her on Twitter @CatBrozena

2013 Walking Summit kicks off in Washington, DC to build momentum for walking in schools, communities, cities & towns across the U.S.

KID08d080Hundreds of walking enthusiasts from across the country are gathering this week at the Every Body Walk! 2013 Walking Summit as part of a movement to boost the prevalence of walking and increase the ease of walking or walkability. The 2013 Walking Summit builds momentum for a walking movement and advances the mission and vision of Every Body Walk! — to get Americans up and moving as part of their everyday lives.


“The Walking Summit is attracting a sold-out audience of leaders from a wide variety interests — those interested in business and economic vitality, those who support environmental conservation and sustainability, those looking at links between physical activity and academic achievement, and those who champion the many health benefits of walking,” said Tyler Norris, vice president, Total Health Partnerships, Kaiser Permanente. “These people recognize that getting more people walking and creating more walkable places are beneficial to their diverse missions. The fact that the Summit has reached maximum capacity is a testament to how relevant and powerful the simple act of walking is, to so many different concerns facing our country.”

Walking — and rolling, for those using wheelchairs or strollers — is seen as an increasingly vital component to improving public health and quality of life, while also benefiting the environment, local economies and community life. At the summit, proponents of walking will exchange best practices, learn from cutting-edge research and develop strategies to increase the demand for walking and the supply of safe places to walk in cities nationwide. On the third day of the summit, several attendees will join America Walks, a national organization serving as the backbone to the Every Body Walk! mobilization efforts, to engage policymakers in the importance of walking and the creation of walkable communities.

The Walking Summit comes at a time of increased focus on building more walking and other forms of physical activity into the school environment. With the back-to-school season upon us, many activities have been planned for October — or “Walktober” — to highlight opportunities to get more school communities walking and moving about.

October 1 kicks off with a Fire Up Your Feet Challenge Competition, open to all elementary and middle schools nationally as a way to encourage school families, students, staff and teachers to boost and track their physical activity, such as walking and bicycling to, from or at school. Fire Up Your Feet is a core program of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, made possible in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, with family engagement support from the National PTA.

On October 9, the nation joins other countries in celebrating International Walk to School Day. Since 1997, communities and schools have been using International Walk to School Day as an opportunity to change community culture and create options for getting around that foster greater physical activity and are more inviting for people of all ages. International Walk to School Day exposes children and their families to the benefits of walking and biking to school and encourages them to engage in these activities year-round.

Read more about the 2013 Walking Summit

Learn about Every Body Walk!

Learn more and sign up for Fire Up Your Feet

Get involved in efforts to Walk/Bike to School on October 9th

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