By EVA DUNN-FROEBIG
All over the country, people will run or walk with their co-workers at noon on Friday, September 21 to celebrate national Run@Work Day.
In Western Montana, eight employers will host group runs/walks to encourage fitness and socialization among co-workers, with assistance from Run Wild Missoula.
The goal of Run@Work Day, presented by the Road Runners Club of America, is to encourage adults to get 30-minutes of exercise each day, in accordance with the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, either before work, during lunch, or immediately following work. Run@Work Day also encourages companies to help employees schedule time for physical activity. Incorporating exercise into one’s daily routine can markedly improve one’s overall physical health.
The pubic is invited to participate in Run@Work Day by attending of the following group runs/walks of about three miles. The run/walks will start and finish at the following locations on Friday, September 21 at 12 p.m. Many employers will provide incentives to participants like snacks and door prizes. For more information about any of the group runs, click a contact’s name below to send them an email.
- City of Missoula, front lawn of County Courthouse, Missoula; Contact: Bridget Voorhees
- Federal Building, front entrance, 340 N. Pattee St., Missoula; Contact: Nancy Rusho
- St. Patrick Hospital, In front of the Wellness Center in the lobby of the Broadway Building; Missoula, Contact: Keith Blackwell
- Community Medical Center, soccer fields by Outpatient Therapy; Contact: Sunni Corr
- Ecology Project International, 315 South 4th St. East., Missoula; Contact: Erin Nuzzo
- Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, front entrance of Visitor’s Center, Missoula; Contact: Deirdre Howell
- Prudential Montana Real Estate, 1020 South Ave. West, Missoula; Contact: Julie Anton
- Rocky Mountain Laboratories, 903 South 4th St., Hamilton; Contact: Kath Hardcastle
A survey conducted by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation in January 2011 found that 85 percent of small companies (10-99 employees) and 76 percent of larger employers (100-2,500) indicated an interest in developing running and walking clubs.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) estimates that 64 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight (33 percent) or obese (31 percent), meaning they have an excess weight of 30 pounds or more. For over 20 years, the CDC has been tracking obesity trends, and they have reported that the rate of overweight adults in the US has increased by 18 percent in those 20 years.
The causes of being overweight or obese can be complex. Simply put, eating more calories and not getting enough exercise or physical activity results in an energy imbalance and causes obesity. The rise of overweight and obesity and the resulting health conditions has a dramatic effect on health insurance costs in the US. It is estimated that overweight and obesity health-related medical costs have reached an all-time high of $75.8 billion per year.
Run@Work Day supports several of the strategies outlined in the National Physical Activity Plan, launched in 2010. More specifically, Run@Work Day events highlight how nonprofit and for-profit sports organizations can work directly with business and industry to help promote physical fitness in the work environment.
Participation in the 7th Annual Run@Work Day is an important step in raising awareness about the importance of daily physical activity. If adults can lead by example, if companies can encourage healthy living, then together we can combat the national inactivity crisis gripping our nation.
The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), a national organization which provides resources for running clubs, started Run@Work Day six years ago to encourage physical activity in the workplace. Run Wild Missoula is a member of the RRCA. Missoula was recently awarded a Runner Friendly Community designation by the RRCA.
Run Wild Missoula is the non-profit running club which organizes the Missoula Marathon and a dozen other annual races, several training programs, seminars and clinics. For more information visit the Run Wild Missoula website.
Stay in the loop with Missoula’s running community! Check out the Run/Walk It archives for more posts from Eva and other Missoula runners and walkers.
Eva Dunn-Froebig is the executive director of Run Wild Missoula and has been running since the seventh grade. She moved to Missoula 12 years ago from upstate New York to attend the University of Montana’s Journalism School graduate program. Eva never dreamed that she would have a running-related job and feels lucky to be a participant in Missoula’s vibrant running community.