Well, first, you should probably head back to work. Seriously. They might fire you if you haven’t walked back in by now.
Hopefully you’ve realized we’re talking about our annual Walk Out On Your Job event. Each year we gather local businesses and encourage everyone to take a walk over their lunch break.
This year, we had 1,208 local employees signed up to walk with us. Of that, 942 employees signed up to walk at their own worksites. That’s the biggest chunk of walkers we’ve ever had choose to walk where they work—and honestly we think that’s great!
That means that as a community, we’re ready to make physical activity part of a regular workday in a regular office space. It doesn’t have to be just a one-time event anymore. Our local workforce is ready for some next steps.
And they can all be summed up like this…
Step 1: Keep walking.
Yes, it’s that simple! We focus on physical activity in the workplace to help combat what’s commonly being referred to as “sitting disease.” Basically, as a group, we’re sitting too much! Many jobs today occur at a desk or a computer. It’s important that people in those positions make a point to get up and move regularly, and walking is one of the simplest ways to do that.
Here are some ways to make walking a regular habit where you work.
Start a Walking Club
It doesn’t have to be as organized as it sounds. Just find a group that wants to walk at about the same time every day (maybe over lunch again?). Walking in groups adds an extra layer of accountability and can actually be a fun and sometimes productive activity at work.
Involve Corporate Leadership
If your leadership team encourages walking at work, more people will feel comfortable doing it. If your leadership team actually walks at work, even more people will get on board. Oftentimes, buy-in trickles down from the top, so get your leadership involved.
There are lots of reminders that can be effective. Simple signs or posters encouraging people to use the stairs instead of elevators are one way to promote walking. You can also set personal reminders like a timer each hour to remind you to move, or maybe ask an office neighbor to give you a nudge every now and then.
There’s a healthy sense of competition in almost every workplace. Play into that by setting up a walking challenge. The most steps, miles or minutes spent walking wins. How you reward your winners is entirely up to you!
Utilize Active Design
How your office space is set up can encourage more walking too! Are hallways wide enough to walk comfortably and well lit? Is the breakroom or supply closet right next to workspaces or down the hall? How can you make it make sense to walk throughout the workday?
There are lots of ways to stay active at work! Even little bits of physical activity throughout the day can help you and your coworkers stay healthy. Capitalize on the momentum you’ve got from walking with us last week and keep moving.
As you try new ways to stay active at work, let us know on Facebook or Twitter. Our event hashtag, #WalkOutBC is a great way to join the conversation. You can also search that hashtag for some fun pictures from our event—including the picture of our contest winners from Bruning State Bank!
We hope to see you out and about this spring and summer—get active and stay healthy!