The American Heart Association is inviting the public to support the fight against heart disease by participating in National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 3. This is the day that adults nationwide can make the pledge to start walking and become active and heart-healthy.
Taking just 10 minutes three times a day to walk will help individuals live longer. In fact, studies show that just one hour of vigorous exercise will increase life expectancy by two hours. To make it easy for the public to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives, the American Heart Association features a variety of valuable resources online at www.startwalkingnow.org.
More than a third of the working-age population in the United States is at risk for chronic illnesses due to physical inactivity and the nation’s obesity epidemic. The estimated cost of obesity and overweight-related health conditions to American companies is $225.8 billion per year in productivity loss. Physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease, which kills 1 in 3 people in the U.S. each year. Heart disease, however, remains largely preventable.
The American Heart Association works with employers and the 135 million Americans in the workplace to create a culture of walking before, during or after work. It offers resources for employers to implement a walking program in the workplace and track employees’ progress.
The Fit-Friendly Companies program recognizes companies for meeting criteria for employee fitness. More than 1,000 U.S. companies have been recognized for demonstrating their commitment to promoting exercise and good nutrition in the workplace.
Encouraging employees to walk briskly for just 30 minutes a day can help lower chronic disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Educating individuals about basic cardiovascular disease prevention and developing health education programs that focus on lifestyle behavior change is a huge investment that will increase a company’s bottom line. In other words, in addition to being the best option for public health, it also makes good business sense.
To learn more about National Walking Day or the American Heart Association, the public is encouraged to visit www.startwalkingnow.org.