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Study: Growing number of Americans are walking

August 9, 2012

Some seniors looking for an easy way to stay active often turn to walking, and according to recent government statistics, many people appear to be following suit. Findings from the National Health Interview Surveys show that the number of Americans going for walks has been on the rise, USA Today reports.

The surveys, which were based on interviews with 45,000 people, found that 48 percent of respondents met the physical activity guidelines (about 150 minutes a week) in 2010, compared to about 42 percent five years earlier. The results are a good sign, but experts say communities can do more to encourage a healthy lifestyle for seniors.

"[The study is] good news but there's still a lot of room for improvement because half of adults aren't getting enough physical activity to get the health benefits," Joan Dorn, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Physical Activity and Health Branch, told the news provider. "We need better spaces and more places to make physical activity the easy choice."

Walking is a simple exercise that can offer seniors innumerable benefits. Specifically, researchers say a regular walking regimen can cut the risk of disability in half.