Black women who walk or exercise vigorously for 5 or more hours/week are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease or cancer, according to an analysis published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The analysis was based on data gathered by the Black Women’s Health Study of 52,993 Black women from 1995-2017.

“Both walking for exercise and vigorous exercise were associated with reductions in mortality among African American women, including deaths from cardiovascular disease and deaths from cancer, both of which are disproportionately high in the African American population. These findings underline the importance of institutional and individual changes that will lead to increased physical activity,” wrote the study authors.

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Why It Matters

The health indicators for Black women in America – such as a life expectancy 2.7 years shorter than White women – are alarming and require urgent attention from policymakers, philanthropies, media influencers, the medical community, public health leaders, community leaders, and others.

Black women, as a group, have the highest rate of obesity/overweight in the United States, with approximately 4 out of 5 Black women included in that category, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health. Black women are also less likely to meet the physical activity guidelines.

For some inspiration and hope that we can address the issue of Black women dying and suffering from preventable conditions, I encourage you to check out one of my favorite organizations, Girltrek.