SEATTLE, April 25, 2007 – The American Heart Association, in partnership with Swedish Medical Center, is calling on companies in the Puget Sound to encourage all employees to wear their sneakers to work for Start! Walking At Work Day on Wednesday, April 25. Start! Walking At Work Day is meant to get more Americans physically active by walking regularly, and companies are called to host a rally on April 25 followed by a walk at work.
Walking has many proven benefits. In fact, adults may gain as many as two hours of life expectancy for each hour of regular, vigorous exercise. Because of this statistic – two for one – it is suggested that companies set up a rallying time of 2:41 p.m.
Start! Walking At Work Day is part of the American Heart Association's Start! movement, which seeks to address the issues caused by a growing national physically inactive workforce. The movement is designed to get Americans up and moving, challenging corporations and their workforce to promote physical fitness and break down the obstacles that keep Americans from being physically active. The movement focuses on walking as an activity because it's accessible, free and has the lowest dropout rate of any type of exercise.
Around the Puget Sound, several companies will be hosting rallies and organized walks at their offices or campuses. Swedish Medical Center, the local sponsor for Start!, is organizing an employee rally at each campus on April 25 at noon, headed by Cherry Hill Campus Chief Operating Officer Marcel Loh, who is executive sponsor of the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute. About 500 Swedish employees have committed to the Start! program and Swedish has created an environment that makes fitness convenient, including establishing a walking path around campus.
"Start! Walking At Work Day is a great time for individuals to make a significant change for a better, longer life," said campaign spokesperson Sarah Speck, M.D., cardiologist and medical director of the Swedish Heat & Vascular Institute's Center for Cardiovascular Wellness. "Brisk walking for 30 minutes a day can lower both bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and high blood pressure. It can help individuals who are overweight achieve and maintain weight loss, and reduce their risk of stroke."
For more information about Start! Puget Sound, click here.
- To read a related article published in the April 22 issue of The Seattle Times, click here.