walking workplace wellness

CDC: Tips to Help Employees Walk Towards Improved Health

Yesterday we reported on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s presentation called Winnable Battles: Nutrition, Physical Activity, & Obesity. The presentation can serve as an effective tool to educate and engage employees in well-run workplace wellness programs, as it “can be tailored for your use by adding specific data, case studies, and other useful information.”

Relatedly, the CDC offers additional useful insights that can educate and engage employees around an important component of workplace wellness: Walking.

The good news is that “walking is the most popular aerobic physical activity. About 6 in 10 adults reported walking for at least 10 minutes in the previous week… More than 145 million adults now include walking as part of a physically active lifestyle. More than 6 in 10 people walk for transportation or for fun, relaxation, or exercise, or for activities such as walking the dog. The percentage of people who report walking at least once for 10 minutes or more in the previous week rose from 56% (2005) to 62% (2010).”

As most participants in workplace wellness programs know, the CDC notes that “physical activity such as walking can help improve health even without weight loss. People who are physically active live longer and have a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Improving spaces and having safe places to walk can help more people become physically active.”

Workplace wellness programs that don’t already include calls to action around physical activity such as walking may want to note some of the key statistics the CDC cites:

  • “Adults need at least 2 and 1/2 hours (150 minutes) a week of aerobic physical activity. This should be at a moderate level, such as a fast-paced walk for no less than 10 minutes at a time.”
  • “Inactive adults have higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.”

The CDC also provides simple tips to employers, who can:

  • “Create and support walking programs for employees.”
  • “Identify walking paths around or near the work place and promote them with signs and route maps.”
  • “Provide places at work to shower or change clothes, when possible.”