The 5 W’s of Walk to Work Day
In 2014 the US Census released data showing that 2.8% of the employed population opted to walk to work instead of driving, biking, or taking public transportation; however, that number increased to 9.1% when zooming in on Seattle. Join this group of health conscious workers in our area this Friday and celebrate Walk to Work Day. This day, encouraging employees to forgo their wheeled mode of transportation, was first celebrated in the US in 2004 and has since promoted healthy habits in the workplace. To learn more about this day focused around your health and improving the environment, glance over the five W’s of Walk to Work Day and reflect on how you can implement walking into your commute on April 7th!
Who: When it comes to days to celebrate in the workplace, this is one that every employee can participate in. While walking to work may prove difficult for employees with physical disabilities, there are accommodations that can be made to ensure that the entire office is able to participate. The only requirement to celebrate this day is that you choose to leave your motorized vehicle or bike for a portion of your commute.
What: Walk to Work Day is a day focused around the concept that simply adding or switching your usual mode of transportation to walking will improve both your health and the environment.
When: Walk to Work Day is celebrated at different times throughout the world. The UK celebrates Walk to Work Week in early May, Australia celebrates Walk to Work Day in October, and here in the United States, San Francisco has taken the lead and started celebrating Walk to Work Day on the first Friday of April and encourages cities across the country to follow their example. Since it is only one day throughout the entire year, you may want to schedule a weekly or monthly Walk to Work Day with your coworkers. How much fun would Walk to Work Wednesdays be to give yourself a boost in the middle of the week?
Where: Although there are cities like San Francisco across the US that have truly embraced the idea of Walk to Work Day by setting up booths across the city and handing out free swag to those walking to work, this day can be celebrated anywhere. If you find that the distance between your home and your job is too much to walk, coordinate a place and a time to meet coworkers so that you can walk 15-30 minutes together before and after work!
Why: There are quite a few reasons why this day should be celebrated by all employees and employers. The four main reasons being that it benefits both physical and mental health, increases productivity at work, has a positive impact on the environment and it is a sustainable mode of transportation. This day proves that you don’t need wheels to get to work, and nonmotorized means of transportation are excellent options for our health and wellbeing. After all, walking even 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes!
How: Although “How” is not one of the five W’s, it is important to know how to implement walking into your commute if your primary mode of transportation has wheels or a motor (or both). Your first thought may be how you are going to walk to work if you don’t live within realistic walking distance of your office. In this case, I would advise scoping out the area, talking to coworkers and arranging a place a couple of miles away from work to park and walk as a group. If parking is an issue, try to carpool to a meeting point. Plan a route that ensures that you feel safe both to and from work, and make sure that you wear comfortable footwear!
This Friday, celebrate Walk to Work Day and encourage your friends and coworkers to join you. As you celebrate, consider expanding this day to a daily, weekly, or monthly routine to boost your health and productivity!