The Surgeon General of the United States will kick off a new nationwide Call to Action later this morning, aiming to help Americans lead healthier lives—by making walking and physical activity built-in features of more of our neighborhoods.
Over the past decade, scores of research has shown the correlation between physical inactivity and sprawl development. Today, 10 percent of the preventable deaths in America are related to physical inactivity and its related diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes—and communities without safe places to walk are part of the problem. Smart Growth America’s 2003 report Measuring the Health Effects of Sprawl was one of the first to examine this issue. Today, the Surgeon General is making it a national health priority.