Home > Fun, PCL Information > Don’t Let the Machines Win – Take the Stairs!

Don’t Let the Machines Win – Take the Stairs!

Did you know that it takes approximately 2000 steps to equal one mile?  That means that if an average, inactive person takes 3000 steps in a day (which is about average), he/she is walking 1 ½ miles.  But is that enough to promote good health?

Have you seen the motivational quotes about walking have appeared around the library? Perhaps you have noticed recently that our Professional Center Library Staff are all wearing pedometers. If you haven’t noticed, well, we are. Our staff members are currently involved in a team challenge to see which team can take the most steps during a 6 week period.  Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NC has donated pedometers, we have divided out staff into 2 teams (Team Happy Feet and Team Sole Survivors) and we are competing to see who can be the top ‘step’ team.  Each day we are recording the steps we have taken and then report our weekly total to our team leaders on Monday mornings. We also have a conversion chart that multiplies the minutes we spend doing some other physical activity (like swimming, biking, yard work, etc) by a particular number to translate into additional steps.  So if your preference is say . . . scrubbing floors, you can multiply each minute you spend scrubbing floors (maybe 65 minutes)  by 174, and you get to add 11,310 steps to your daily total.

The program in which we are involved is called the PCL Step Into Spring Team Challenge and it is designed to promote teamwork, as well as physical well-being.   According to the American Psychological Association, “As many as 50 million Americans are living sedentary lives, putting them at increased risk of health problems and even early death.” We are encouraging each other to walk as much as possible, because beyond it being good for us, there are prizes involved here!

NPR recently did a piece on the health of Americans stating that we have basically ‘engineered’ walking out of our lives.  Everywhere you look, there are ways to avoid walking, or for that matter, any physical activity.  When there is an option to ride up/down in an elevator, or take the stairs, do you opt for the stairs, or do you cave and take the elevator like everyone else.  Or how about when you have to go to an event on the other side of the WFU campus.  Do you drive – or do you choose to walk because you need the exercise?  We drive up to our banks, cleaners, pharmacy, post office box, library book return, fast food restaurants, and many others which eliminates the opportunity to get out of our cars and walk inside.  And how often do we drive through a car wash, rather than get out there and do it ourselves? (Those minutes spent washing a car, by the way, would be multiplied by 87.)  We are becoming a nation of fat, flabby butterballs whose muscles are atrophying at an alarming rate!

If you’re feeling inspired and want to start walking more, find out your local WalkScore  – how “walkable” is your neighborhood? That could be something to think about when you’re looking for summer housing or even debating between jobs! Even taking a quick walk around the courtyard (or the portico, if this rain keeps up) can give you a little air, some exercise, and a fresh perspective on that exam you’re studying for. Get stepping!

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