Sept. 15, 2016

Brandi Horton
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Trail Development, Community Design Experts Available to Discuss Implications of New CDC Report, “Physical Inactivity Among Adults Aged 50 Years and Older”

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Offers Strategies for Developing Access to Places for Physical Activity

WASHINGTON—According to a new report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in four Americans over the age of 50 are physically inactive. In its report, the CDC called for communities to help older Americans become more active by increasing access to safe places for physical activity, including trails.

“At any age, when people have access to safe places to walk, like trails, within 10 minutes of their home, they are one and a half times more likely to meet recommended activity levels than those who don’t,” said Keith Laughlin, president of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC). “Trails are a common-sense approach to improving community design and quality of life. They help get people outdoors, create opportunities for safe physical activity, offer more options for transportation and connect people to the places where they want to go.” 

This report underscores RTC’s call for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase funding for the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity to $120 million with a focus on creating and promoting safe and healthy environments for physical activity.

RTC’s subject matter experts on trail policy, trail development and community design are available to discuss the implications of the CDC’s findings and strategies for integrating trails and safe places for physical activity with community design:

  • Marianne Fowler, senior strategist for policy advocacy, a rail-trail organizer who has been instrumental in trail development and bike/ped policy since the mid-1980s
  • Ashley Ashworth, healthy communities manager, RTC’s representative in the health sector and advocate for active-transportation networks that promote health and community connectivity  
  • Keith Laughlin, president, guides RTC’s vision for trail development, policy advocacy and public education work, including its projects of national significance, which are catalyzing the development of trail networks nationwide

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 160,000 members and supporters, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. Connect with RTC at and @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Published on 09/15/16

Author: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Collection: Trail Promotion

Type: Press release