Walking in malls offers a safe, free, comfortable, and relatively-accessible, pedestrian-friendly way for walking, especially for older adults. The just-released Mall Walking: A Program Resource Guide, a new tool developed from research conducted by the Health Promotion Research Center in the University of Washington School of Public Health, explains how mall walking helps people overcome barriers to physical activity by providing:
The guide, sponsored and co-authored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was developed to provide information about the health benefits of mall walking and to present practical strategies for starting and maintaining walking programs in malls and other venues. The information supports the CDC’s National Prevention Strategy and is based on evidence showing great potential in mall walking programs for health improvement among older adults with varying physical abilities.
Research conducted by the Health Promotion Research Center included a literature review, environmental audits of malls and other venues used for walking programs, and data from interviews conducted with walkers, managers, and providers of walking programs. The guide also has information about and examples of alternate walking program locations such as zoos, botanical gardens, and commercial spaces.
The guide can be downloaded for free at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/mallwalking-guide.pdf