National Walk to Work Day
April 3, 2013

April is a busy month of holidays and special events for us New Englanders: Patriot’s Day (April 15), school spring break (April 16 through 19), and Earth Day (April 22). Those are only the tip of the iceberg though. Did you know April also has Take Your Daughter to Work Day (April 25) and National Arbor Day (April 26)?

One day of note I especially like is this Friday, April 5, National Walk to Work Day. The first Friday of April was declared National Walk to Work Day by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson in 2004.

While I mostly write at home (very short commute!), much of my research work is walking or hiking or exploring the New England area. For most people, though, the commute to work or school is much longer and doesn’t involve a lot of walking. Once there, the day is often spent behind a desk.

The American Heart Association says that one in two men and one in three women are at risk for heart disease, and research shows that poor lifestyle is a major contributor.  According to the association, 65 percent of all adults are obese or overweight; people are less active due to technology and better mass transportation; sedentary jobs have increased 83 percent since 1950; and our average work week is longer. Those are some sobering numbers.

If you’re reading this blog, then obviously you care about getting your kids outside and enjoying healthy activities, but it is all too easy to get stuck in a rut, with our fast-paced lives, busy schedules and endless technology at our fingertips.

Just 30 minutes of exercise a day is enough to make a drastic change to our health and it doesn’t require a trip to the gym. It doesn’t even need to be 30 minutes at a time. Taking a 15-minute walk in the morning and in the evening is enough to make a difference. If you’re looking for inspiration for outdoor activities, our online event calendar is a great place to start. 

While it’s not a really a holiday, Walk to Work Day can serve as a reminder to try to spend more time each day being active. As always, when you set a healthy example for your children, you set them up to be healthier adults.

 

 

 

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