America Has A Walking Problem, Just 12% Of Our Treks Are On Foot

  • There are few things more quintessentially human than the way we walk. Millions of years of evolution primed our anatomy and physiology for walking upright on two legs, freeing our arms for other tasks.
  • Yet in America, relative to other developed nations, this fundamental method of human travel is a rarity. According to a new analysis from researchers at Virginia Tech and Rutgers University published in the journal Sustainability, just 12% of all trips in the U.S. are walked. That’s one of the lowest walking rates in the world. Residents of Finland, Germany, France, and the UK use their legs twice as often to get from point A to point B.
  • So what’s the reason for Americans’ aversion to walking? Ralph Buehler, a professor of urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech, and one of the study’s authors, offered a stark explanation: “People walk less in the United States because it’s more dangerous to walk here and walking conditions are worse compared to other countries,” he said in a statement.
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