The epidemiology of walking for exercise: implications for promoting activity among sedentary groups

Am J Public Health. 1995 May;85(5):706-10. doi: 10.2105/ajph.85.5.706.


The relative contribution of walking to overall leisure-time physical activity participation rates was studied among respondents from the 45 states that participated in the 1990 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (n = 81,557). The percentages of low income, unemployed, and obese persons who engaged in leisure-time physical activity (range = 51.1% to 57.7%) were substantially lower than the percentage among the total adult population (70.3%). In contrast, the prevalence of walking for exercise among these sedentary groups (range = 32.5% to 35.9%) was similar to that among the total population (35.6%). Walking appears to be an acceptable, accessible exercise activity, especially among population subgroups with a low prevalence of leisure-time physical activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Weight
  • Employment
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Walking*