National Walking Day April 2

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin

Americans are spending more time than ever sitting in front of screens – at work and at home – which means less time being active. Physical inactivity has a detrimental effect on your health. Studies have shown that inactive people can double their risk of heart disease.

April 2 is the American Heart Association's National Walking Day. Whether it’s walking, running, biking, playing sports or joining a group class, the goal is getting more active. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly for adults, and 60 minutes a day for kids.

 Did you know?

· Research has shown that each hour of regular exercise can add about two hours to your life expectancy, even if you don't start until middle age.

· Regular physical activity can relieve tension, anxiety, depression and anger.

· Exercise increases the flow of oxygen, which directly affects the brain. Your mental awareness and memory can be improved with physical activity.

· Becoming more active can lower your blood pressure by about as much as some high-blood pressure medications.

Let’s face it. Americans are not getting enough physical activity.

· Sedentary work has increased 83 percent in the U.S. since 1950. Only one of four people in our workforce now works in a physically active job.

· Our average work week is longer. Americans work 47 hours a week – 164 more hours a year than 20 years ago.

· Obesity costs American companies $225.8 billion a year in health-related productivity losses. An obese employee costs employer additional $460 to $2,500 in medical costs and sick days per year.

· Kids just aren’t getting enough physical education at school. Just under 4 percent of elementary schools offer P.E. every day. About 8 percent of middle schools have daily P.E., and just over 2 percent of high schools do. In all, 22 percent of U.S. schools do not require any physical education.

How You Can Participate in National Walking Day

Sign up to participate in National Walking Day (as an individual, school, community organization or company) at

· Wear red shoelaces on National Walking Day (and whenever you exercise) to remind yourself of the benefits of exercise.

· Show how you are “lacing up” for your heart and brain health by posting a picture of your red laces in action with the hashtag #AHALaceup to your social media accounts.