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January 09, 2007
American Heart Association Promotes Walking Programs in the Workplace

The American Heart Association (AHA) has launched a program to promote walking and other healthy habits in the workplace.

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AHA's Start! program encourages employers and employees to promote physical fitness, focusing on walking as an activity because it's accessible, free, and has the lowest dropout rate of any type of exercise, says Raymond Gibbons, president of the AHA.

"Regular walking has many proven benefits for an individual's overall health. Brisk walking for 30 minutes a day can lower both bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and high blood pressure. It can help individuals who are overweight achieve and maintain weight loss, and reduce their risk of stroke," says Gibbons.

The AHA has built Start! around four key elements to help Americans live longer, heart-healthy lives:

  • The Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Recognition Program officially recognizes employers that champion the health of their employees and work to create a culture of physical activity in the workplace.
  • The Start! Walking Program encourages companies to promote walking at work and recognize and reward employees who move from a sedentary to a more active lifestyle.
  • MyStart! Online is a web-based tool that allows employees to track their daily physical activity and their daily diet intake.
  • Start! Heart Walk, the American Heart Association's premier fundraiser, gives people an opportunity to improve their health through walking while helping fund the fight against heart disease and stroke.

For more information about the program, visit http://www.americanheart.org/start. Start! is sponsored nationally by Subway, Healthy Choice, and AstraZeneca.

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