Small Steps to Walking More

Does this job make me look fat?

In the past 50 years, much of the American workforce has shifted from agricultural and manufacturing jobs to the more sedentary office job. Because fewer than 20% of jobs require moderate physical activity, the average American worker is burning 100 calories less per workday than they did 50 years ago, equaling 25-35,000 fewer calories a year. Additionally, we are walking less in our everyday lives and walk the least amount of any other industrialized country. Americans spend more time in our cars than anywhere else in the world; more time spent driving means less time spent on activities that provide health benefits.

How does Georgia compare?

One of the biggest reasons people are walking less is that we live farther from the places we need to go. measures the walkability of cities based on proximity to nearby amenities. Georgia cities have an average Walk Score of 35 out of 100, which is unfortunately not too great. However, there are some walkable cities within the state, the best including Decatur, North Druid Hills and North Atlanta. Among Georgia’s least walkable cities, and labeled as “car-dependent” are Evans, Union City and Sugar Hill.

If you live in an area where it is difficult to walk to work or run your errands, there are still ways to get some walking into your day.

  • Divide your lunch so you eat half the time and take a walk for the other half
  • Get up and move during commercial breaks
  • Use stairs instead of the elevator
  • Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of calling or emailing them
  • Make it a habit – whenever you need a break at work or start to feel tired, take a quick stroll around the office

Walking is shown to drastically improve lives by lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and decreasing your chance of diabetes. So, try taking some small steps to walking more.