The 2013 Walking Summit (hosted by the Every Body Walk! Collaborative and Kaiser Permanente) took place in our nation’s capitol this week, drawing together walking enthusiasts, activists and community leaders to address the importance and many health benefits of walking just 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Another big topic at the summit: Addressing the challenges to walking presented by infrastructure, and how to create safer and more walkable communities.
Participants attempted to reach the core of what makes communities walkable, and what motivates individuals to walk every day. They recognized that a multitude of factors impact the walkability of communities, often making daily walks challenging for individuals. The Summit provided a unique opportunity for leaders and advocates to discuss how to develop walking strategies, increase momentum for current walking movements, showcase best practices from their own communities, and make a commitment together to achieve healthier cities nationwide.
Summit speakers included U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin (2009-2013); mayor of Washington, D.C., Vincent Gray; and Kaiser Permanente Chairman George Halvorson. Attendees also were treated to a dance-walk led by the Dance Walk Guru Master, who has been featured on national news outlets, to get them up and moving during the conference.