Montgomery County will join the 15th Annual National “Walk to Work Day” by encouraging those who can find it feasible to leave their vehicles at home and get in some good exercise on their way to the office on Friday, April 5.
National Walk to Work Day is recognized on the first Friday of April. In 2004, then-U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson declared the special day as both an environment friendly day and a way for workers to get in some additional exercise.
Since April also is recognized as National “Distracted Driving Month,” this will be a good time for drivers to start paying extra attention to pedestrians and bicyclists. The walking to work effort also will be an opportunity for sometimes distracted walkers to change their routines and get to the office without staring into cellphones or using headphones that block out the sounds of potential dangers.
Montgomery County’s Vision Zero initiative is working with all of these programs as it is dedicated to reducing traffic, bicycle and pedestrian fatalities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s fact sheet on the “Relationship of Walking to Mortality Among U.S. Adults with Diabetes” states that those with diabetes who walked for two or more hours a week lowered their mortality rate from all causes by 39 percent. The report states, "Walking lengthened the life of people with diabetes regardless of age, sex, race, body mass index, length of time since diagnosis and presence of complications or functional limitations."
In a big county like Montgomery, it is acknowledged that walking to work is not convenient for all. However, there are other ways to join in the celebration:
• If unable to walk to work, take public transportation instead and then walk from the bus or Metro stop to your workplace.
• If you must drive or take public transportation to your workplace, walk to a lunch destination.
•Recruit colleagues and friends to walk with you to work.