However, the Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said 48 percent of all adults did not get enough physical activity to improve their health.
Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, said for substantial health benefits the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommended at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking. This activity should be done for at least 10 minutes at a time, Frieden added.
"More than 145 million adults are now getting some of their physical activity by walking," Frieden said in a statement. "People who are physically active live longer and are at lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some cancers. Having more places for people to walk in our communities will help us continue to see increases in walking, the most popular form of physical activity among U.S. adults."
The Vital Signs report said there were increases in walking -- at least 10 minutes a day -- in nearly all groups surveyed. In the West, roughly 68 percent of people walked at least 10 minutes -- more than any other region in the country, the report said. In the South, 49 percent said they walked in 2005, but that rose to 57 percent in 2010, the report said.