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National Walking Day: Time to Put Some Spring in Your Step

April 5, 2017 / Employee Wellbeing Best Practices

“Walking is man’s best medicine.”  Hippocrates wasn’t kidding.

Getting a move on boosts your energy, clears your head and strengthens your body. It’s a perfect way to chase the winter blues away. What’s more, active employees are healthier, happier and more productive, and that’s good for business! WorldatWork, Gallup and our own Science Advisory Board member, Dr. Ron Goetzel of Truven Analytics have shown that promoting a culture of wellbeing has major impact on lower employee turnover, higher client satisfaction, and actual returns on their stock performance — talk about a competitive advantage!

Our friends at the American Heart Association have designated April 5, 2017 as National Walking Day (“Move More in April”)* to help us all commit to moving more for better health.

Need some motivation to get out of your chair? Check out six reasons to get your walk on today:

  1. Low impact, high effect. Research shows that the average worker sits for 12 hours a day between work, commuting and leisure time. All that inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease and greatly contributes to diabetes, depression and obesity, not to mention chronic muscular and joint issues.
  2. Got 5 minutes? A recent study by the University of Colorado showed that periodic breaks for moderate walking resulted in workers who felt happier, less hungry, and had more energy throughout the day. Make a point to get up and walk around for at least 5 minutes an hour, and watch how productivity improves.
  3. Better together. Pretty much anything is better with a friend. Experts agree that people stick to an activity longer, work harder, and have better results when they have a friend or colleague along. Invite friends, family or colleagues to step to it with you. Read more about how social connections influence employee wellbeing.
  4. Dust off your device! Got a tracker? Set a daily steps goal to start. The American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps per day for most adults. Start where you are and build up to move that number daily. Fitness devices can be triggers to get moving too—with hourly reminders and goal setting features to keep you on track. See if you can beat your step count by a bit each day, and soon you’ll be knocking out some distance and feeling better for it. Virgin Pulse partners with Fitbit and other popular fitness devices including an exciting new addition to our own family of devices, Max Buzz!
  5. Get Out! Walking outdoors exposes you to natural sunlight—a perfect way to boost your mood. Explore your neighborhood, map out a route around the office, or choose an enticing destination to keep things interesting.
  6. Walk and work! Multitask with purpose. Instead of an email or phone call, visit a coworker, or raise the bar by switching to walking meetings. Take in a webinar or read an article while you strut your stuff on the treadmill and you’ll find those steps racking up.

Want to step up your company’s walking game? Join the Global Challenge to walk your way around the world (virtually) with Sir Richard Branson. 

Want to make your workplace healthier, happier, and more productive? Let a wellbeing expert at Virgin Pulse help you find a solution that keeps your employees working and moving together.

*National Walking Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association is now called “Move More in April”.

Jennifer Jones is the Senior Product Marketing Manager at Virgin Pulse. She credits her yellow lab, Gillie with teaching her the power of a daily walk in any weather. Throughout her career, she has spread the word about products and services that change people’s lives for good through education, employee engagement and mindfulness.


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