Carleton introduces workplace walking program

Viewpoint

According to a recent study on the exercise habits of Canadian adults, walking is rated as the number one physical activity choice for both men and women. And it’s easy to understand why it’s so popular. There are no age barriers and it can be a great way to socialize with others while getting exercise at the same time. Plus, walking can help relieve stress, providing a welcome respite from the September back-to-school work rush.

Those are some of the reasons why the Healthy Workplace Committee is introducing a workplace walking program for employees. The program, called Walk This Way, will take place over the course of six weeks, beginning on September 22. It’s open to any faculty and staff member who wishes to adopt walking as a healthy lifestyle habit.

“Research has shown that walking can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and osteoporosis,” says Cindy Robinson, healthy workplace co-ordinator. “It can also help address mental health issues by reducing depression while improving self-esteem.”

Participants in the program will receive a walking kit that includes an erasable calendar for setting goals, a resource booklet, a pedometer, and a campus map with designated walking routes. A core group of employees have volunteered to be walking captains and lead the walks, which will provide additional motivation and support to participants, notes Robinson.

The program will begin with a one kilometre walk in the first week. The distances will gradually increase each week leading up to a 2.8 kilometre walk in the sixth, and final, week of the program.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for employees to fit physical activity into their day, socialize with their colleagues, and develop a habit that can change their lives,” says Ed Kane, assistant vice-president (University Services) and chair of the Healthy Workplace Committee. “It’s easy to do, it’s free, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Register for Walk This Way
Are you thinking about starting an exercise program? Are you looking for a way to become more active and have some fun? Do you enjoy walking as a form of physical activity? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, Walk This Way may be for you. For more information and to register, visit http://carleton.ca/healthy-workplace.

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