Most working adults spend the majority of their time sitting at a desk, often for eight hours or more, with few or no breaks. This sedentary behavior, along with poor eating habits, significantly increases the risk of heart disease – our nation’s No. 1 killer.
Promoting exercise at the office is a great solution and a benefit to employers and individuals alike. “Lack of time” is often used as the primary excuse for dropping or avoiding a fitness routine, and studies show unhealthy employees contribute less and cost companies more.
A Solution to Get America Moving
The Start! Walking Program is the American Heart Association’s movement to get all Americans walking in an effort to fight heart disease and stroke. Although any individual can use the online tools and resources available through the program, the American Heart Association encourages Corporate America to sign up to reenergize their employees into an active and healthy workforce.
How it Works
We love this program because it’s so easy! Companies can enroll their organization, set up local walking routes, promote lunch-time exercising to their employees and organize walking teams. Online tools, tips and materials are provided to the organizations making it simple to implement whether you’re a small mom-and-pop or a large-scale business.
Using the MyStart! Online Tracker – a popular and easy-to-use online tool that supports the Walk! Program – individuals can map walking routes, track daily activity and dietary intake, calculate mileage and report on calories burned. In addition, they can view and print weekly summaries of progress.
The American Council on Exercise® (ACE®) collaborated with the American Heart Association by developing several walking programs focused on the goals of weight-loss and general health that will be added to the Start! program this Spring. Employees will be able to answer a few questions online, upon which they will be placed into a walking program matching their fitness level and goals. Each walking program varies slightly in time, distance and/or intensity to gradually increase as the person’s fitness level improves. In addition, there are fitness tips from ACE for the program participants including warm-up activities, staying motivated and successful weight-loss techniques.
How to Start!
Creating a wellness environment can help lower healthcare costs, increase productivity, enhance morale and protect a company’s greatest asset – their employees. So, spread the word and let your company know by directing them to the American Heart Association Start! webpage for more information!