Walk Your Way to a Healthy Lifestyle, at Home and at Work

Walk Your Way to a Healthy Lifestyle

Parents holding their kid's hand walking down a leafy lane in the fall

How can you practice pedestrian safety while walking?

The goal for most step counters starts at 10,000 steps a day, which for most people is 5 miles and meets the 30 minutes a day, or at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week suggested by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This makes walking a healthy, enjoyable activity for parents and children alike; but more importantly, walking is an essential movement. Walking reduces the effects of too much sitting. The average American actually spends nine to 10 hours of their day sitting.

Pedestrian Safety For Walks During Work

A simple lunchtime walk can have a significant impact on your mood and help reduce work-related stress. You can also take walks while making phone calls (use a wired headset or your phone’s speaker function so you can stay aware of your surroundings) or walk a few laps around your office building before entering and after leaving the building. When taking walks, here are some tips:

  • Predict your walking time. Don't be late for work or back to your desk. How long will it take you to walk to work? For your first walking commute, consider planning on a pace of 20 minutes per mile or 12 minutes per kilometer. Or, take a “practice” trip on a day you don’t work so you can get a feel for your pace.
  • Leave a pair of sneaks at the office. If you plan to walk during your work day, you might be more comfortable if you have a pair of sneakers available to change into. Or, if you’re walking to work, you may need to change to shoes more appropriate for your work environment when you arrive, either by leaving them at work or carrying them with you.
  • Replenish your body. If your walk will take more than 20 minutes, plan for a cup of water every 20 minutes by carrying it with you or locating water fountains along your route.
  • Get a group. Get fit and be social! Find a few co-workers to walk with each day.

Pedestrian Safety for Walks Around Your Home

Taking family walks in the evening allow time to catch up on your kids’ and significant others day. Here are some tips to keep it safe and enjoyable:

  • Plan walkable routes. Sit down with your family to map out a well-lit route with sidewalks and crosswalks and little traffic. If you live in a large city or have safety concerns about your neighborhood, drive to find a nearby trail.
  • Teach pedestrian safety. Use walks as an opportunity to educate kids about safety. Explain the different traffic signals, remind your kids to stop at the edge of driveways to watch for cars, and teach them never to cross streets within 10 feet in front of buses or other large vehicles. Learn more about pedestrian safety for kids.
  • Avoid distractions.Walking while texting, talking on the phone, wearing headsets can lead to a number of injuries, ensure you minimize your distractions.
  • Use strollers safely. Engage wheel brakes when you stop, wear a stroller wrist strap for extra control and always use the stroller safety belt even on short walks around the block. Never tie a pet's leash to a stroller when walking. If your child is too big for a stroller, hold his or her hand to keep them close by.
  • Keep dogs close. Make sure they're leashed at all times and avoid letting your dog greet other walkers. If your dog bites someone, you could be liable for injuries.

It's important to think about pedestrian safety when you're driving, too. Pay attention to your surroundings and obey all traffic laws and signals. Find more safety tips for drivers and pedestrians from State Farm®.

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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.