Businesses across the Tennessee Valley — including SkyRidge Medical Center and other companies in Cleveland and Bradley County — on Wednesday will join the American Heart Association in commemorating National Walking Day and support their employees’ health by encouraging them to step away from their desks and spend some time being active.
With adults spending more time at work than ever before and those jobs requiring less and less physical activity, Americans are becoming more physically inactive, according to American Heart Association officials.
Physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer of all Americans, the AHA stresses.
“Just 30 minutes of physical activity a day provides many heart-healthy benefits,” said Coleman Foss, CEO of SkyRidge Medical Center and a member of the Tennessee Valley Heart Walk Executive Leadership Team. “National Walking Day encourages all Americans to start making the small changes that add up to better health.”
Some of the ways the AHA suggests getting active on National Walking Day include bringing sneakers to the workplace and taking 30 minutes at lunch to walk outside, using the stairs instead of the elevator and taking walking meetings rather than brainstorming around a table. They also suggest talking with supervisors and bosses about employees’ desires to be healthier, and asking them to designate areas where employees may go and walk when they have a break.
The AHA will hold a “Tied to be Fit” health fair at Bradley Square Mall on Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Activities will include Zumba, blood pressure screenings, Hands Only CPR demonstrations and educational materials.
The Tennessee Valley Heart Walk will return to Cleveland this year on June 21 at the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway. The Walk is the signature fundraising event of the American Heart Association and brings communities together to celebrate the progress in the fight against cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The walk promotes the health benefits of increased physical activity like walking.
In celebration of National Walking Day and to kick off the 2014 event, the AHA will launch a new contest for all registered Heart Walk participants on National Walking Day. The “Tied to be Fit Challenge” will offer chances to win prizes like Fitbits and an iPad.
To register for the walk, visit www.chattanoogaheartwalk.org or call Heart Walk Director Kim Enoch at 423-763-4408 for more information.