It’s safe to assume that the majority of America’s workforce spends more time sitting on their butts than standing on their feet. And with obesity continually on the rise, it’s time for employees to make a change, even if it’s just a small step forward.
National Walk to Work Day on April 1 can be that opportunity to get America moving again, even if it’s just for one day.
The history of National Walk to Work Day
Founded in April of 2004, National Walk to Work Day was promoted by Prevention magazine and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Podiatric Medical Association. This day was designed to encourage the American workforce to ditch their sedentary ways – from sitting in a car driving to work to sitting in a chair at work – to squeezing in a bit of exercise and walking to work before clocking in from 9 to 5.
In an age where fitness bands and trackers are all the rage, National Walk to Work Day can help you add steps to that daily pedometer goal by walking for all or part of your work commute. The goal of the healthy event is to increase people’s average walk to a minimum of 15 minutes each way – whether that be walking the whole distance or just far enough to hop on public transportation for the rest of the way. Experts say if we all added 2,000 more steps to our day, we wouldn’t be as nearly inclined to gain another pound. It also wouldn’t hurt to avoid eating these energy-depleting foods on a regular basis.
Tips to get goving
So, what can you do to plan your walking commute? Start with figuring out a safe route in advance. And if you don’t already have a pair, get a good pair of walking shoes.
If your commute is too long, switch it up to a Walk to Lunch Day and invite coworkers to join. Or if there is no good place to walk near your office, hit the treadmill and make up the time on the human hamster wheel.
The long-term goal is to simply add healthy steps to your day, as 30-60 minutes a day of walking is a great way to reduce your overall risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.
Why walking matters
And if you’re already an active, self-proclaimed gym rat, don’t think that your 1-hour in the sweat box every other day gives you a get out of walking free card. Science has proven that the detriments of sitting 8-plus hours a day cannot be so easily reversed by a short time spent at the gym. It definitely helps but it won’t undo all that time spent sitting. For more info on ways to increase movement at work consider looking into standing desks. A perfect way to balance out sitting versus standing.
Simply walking 30 minutes each day, whether to work, to lunch, for leisure – whatever – places you in the “Moderate Physical Activity” category and greatly lowers your health risks. And if working out isn’t part of your weekly routine – but you want it to be – walking a little each day, or simple, yet practical exercises for the office, could be the bridge to a healthier, happier you.
National Walk to Work Day is April 1, 2016. See you on the sidewalk!
And no, National Walk to Work Day is not an April Fool’s joke. There’s nothing foolish about living healthier. Join the movement to get moving this year!