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Walking for exercise is a popular leisure-time activity pursuit among US adults; however, little information is available about total daily walking.
A nationally representative random sample of 10,461 US adults (4438 men and 6023 women) was surveyed via telephone between 2002 and 2003. Weekly frequency and daily duration of walking for all purposes in bouts of at least 10 min were measured. Regular walking was defined as walking ≥5 d/wk, ≥30 min/d.
Overall, 49% of adults (51% of men and 47% of women) were regular walkers, and approximately 17% reported no walking. Regular walking was significantly higher in employed adults and decreased with increasing age in women and body mass index in both sexes. Total walking was significantly higher among adults with lower levels of educational attainment and did not vary significantly by race/ethnicity.
These results affirm the popularity of walking in the United States.
Reis and Macera are with the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92101. Reis is also with the Dept of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA 92186. Ainsworth is with the Dept of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ 85212. Hipp is with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341.