You’ll get a chance to test out your feet as a fun means of transportation on Friday, April 6th, 2012 when Portland celebrates National Walk to Work Day. Never heard of it? No wonder! It’s the event’s inaugural year in Portland, thanks to the hard work of the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition –it promises to be a fun one!
The Willamette Pedestrian Coalition – in partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, BTA, KEEN Footwear, Upstream Public Health, Oregon Public Health Institute, Lloyd TMA, Swan Island TMA, and other partners – is organizing an event with four starting points in various parts of the city. We will start with some treats at each meet-up and then walk downtown, converging at City Hall for coffee and light breakfast before your work- or play day.
Following are the meet-up areas. (Specific locations to come):
- 34th & SE Belmont – meet 7:15am, walk 7:30am
- 26th & SE Clinton – meet 7:30am, walk 7:45am
- Leftbank Building (240 N. Broadway) – meet 7:30am, walk 7:45am
- Lower MacLeay Park – meet 7:15am, walk 7:30am
Employees who exercise regularly have lower health care costs and less absenteeism.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report that physical activity saves employers 6—32% in health care costs per year. Physically fit people are also absent an average of two fewer days per year than people who are not physically fit. Walking to work combines the need to travel to work with the desire for exercise.
Walking to work can lead to higher productivity and reduced turnover.
A study by HHS states that employers who implement programs or encourage physical activity in employees see an increase in productivity by 2—52%. Employees who walk to work arrive less stressed and more alert than those who drive alone. Happier employees tend to stay with their employers longer, reducing the high costs associated with losing and recruiting staff.
National Walk to Work Day is held the first Friday of April in the USA, a tradition that began in 2004. For more information about the annual national event, I’d invite you to check out this link.