May 18, 2010

Workers to walk for National Employee Health and Fitness Day

A healthy workforce is essential to a strong economy

The National Association for Health and Fitness reports that regular physical activity makes workers more productive, reduces illness, injuries and absenteeism and lowers health care costs. Workers who are physically active have increased stamina, lower stress levels, improved physical fitness and a greater sense of well-being.

To highlight the importance of a healthy work force, hundreds of workers in Jefferson City are participating in lunch-time walks on May 19. The four walks through different parts of the capital were designed by health officials as part of National Employee Health and Fitness Day. The theme for this year’s event is, “It’s time to feel good.”

“Making healthy lifestyle choices can improve the way you feel, and that can have a positive impact on every area of your life, including your work,” said Margaret Donnelly, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “Healthy employees are essential to a healthy economy.”

Physical activity also helps reduce chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure.

The state health department has established four routes for the walk in Jefferson City, but workers throughout Missouri are encouraged to walk wherever they can. The organized routes are:

  • Route 1 – Begins near the junction of West Edgewood and Wildwood streets and follows the Greenway.
  • Route 2 – Begins near the Department of Natural Resources office building at 1730 East Elm Street.
  • Route 3 – Begins in the parking lot of the Department of Natural Resources Lewis and Clark Building at 1101 Riverside Drive.
  • Route 4 – Begins in the parking lot at the Missouri State Public Health Lab at 101 North Chestnut Street.

Signs will direct walkers along the routes.

Workers in downtown Jefferson City can walk the “downtown fitness mile,” a designated walking route in the city’s central business district.

National Employee Health and Fitness Day is sponsored annually by the National Association for Health and Fitness on the third Wednesday in May. Last year more than 600 employees in Jefferson City participated in the event.

Information about this year’s walk, including maps of the walking routes and the downtown fitness mile, can be found at