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Am J Prev Med. 2003 Aug;25(2):95-100.

Walking trends among U.S. adults: the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 1987-2000.

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Epidemic Intelligence Service, Division of Applied Public Health Training, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



To examine trends in walking among adults in 31 states.


Trends by sociodemographic strata were analyzed from respondents who participated in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).


The prevalence of walking among men increased 3.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]=2.4-5.2), from 26.2% (95% CI=25.1-25.3) in 1987 to 30.1% (95% CI=29.4-30.8) in 2000. In women, walking increased 6.6% (95% CI=5.4-7.8), from 40.4% (95% CI=-39.4-41.1) to 46.9% (95% CI=46.2-47.6) during the same time period. However, the prevalence of walking three times a week for 30 minutes duration remained constant across all years. The largest increases occurred in minority subpopulations: 8.7% (95% CI=3.2-14.2) in Hispanic women, 8.5% (95% CI=4.4-12.6) non-Hispanic black women, and 7.0% (95% CI=2.3-11.7) in non-Hispanic black men. Walking was the most frequently reported activity among adults who met the national recommendations for regular physical activity (defined as five or more times a week for > or =30 minutes per session).


Given the acceptability of walking across all sociodemographic subgroups, efforts to increase the frequency of walking could markedly increase the percentage of U.S. adults who engage in regular physical activity, a national priority identified in the Healthy People 2010 objectives for the nation.

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