Last week was National Walking Day, and around 500 staff members at my company laced up their walking shoes to take steps toward a healthier work place. Last year the wellness program that I run was in its VERY early stages, so we were only able to post one little Intranet article on the benefits of walking. However, if you check out last year’s F&F post, I said “maybe next year we’ll be able to have a company wide event.” And this year we did it! Staff from nine different buildings, including Atlanta and Minnesota and even our overnight staff, joined the American Heart Association in challenging ourselves and our nation to get heart healthy and fit.

Here are some pictures of the different walks throughout the day:

National Walking Day Framingham

National Walking Day LB

National Walking Day: Indoor WalkNational Walk Day AtlantaNational Walking Day EBH

Each walk was just one mile in length, but since we wanted to make sure there would be an option for everyone, staff could choose whether to take part in a leisure walk, an intermediate walk, or a speed walk. The point wasn’t to note how fast or slow anyone went, but just to encourage people to get out there and move, regardless of fitness level. For the sedentary and/or deconditioned, getting up and just walking and moving more is the way to go to make small, manageable changes toward a healthier lifestyle.

National Walking Day Norwood Westwood

National Walking Day SCNational Walking Day Mn

National Walking Day SCNational Walking Day Canton

My day was made when a staff member sent me this email after she participated in one of the scheduled walks:

I want to thank you, and all of the rest of the Wellness Works team, for putting this event together. It was a rough start to the day, and my stress level increased throughout the morning. Taking 30 minutes away from it all to get outside and get moving has reinvigorated me! I feel like I can tackle the rest of what my day has in store with a new attitude and more energy. All too often, the pressures of the day keep me from thinking about taking a break. A company wide initiative like this motivates me to try to make a mid-day walk a regular part of my schedule. Thank you for the encouragement and motivation.

When all is said and done, THAT is why I love working in the wellness industry.

–Let’s chat–
Did you celebrate National Walking Day this year? Did your company do anything to honor the day? Do you make a point to take walking breaks during the day? What will you do to move more today?

For more posts on wellness at work: