The Road Runners Club of America, the largest grassroots running organization in the country, will launch the 1st Annual RRCA National Run@Work Day.  The purpose of National Run@Work Day is to promote physical activity and healthy living through running or walking.

 

In 1997, the Road Runners Club of America founded the National Run to Work Day. The purpose of the event was to get runners to leave their cars at home and run to and from work. While the event was successful in cities with well developed pedestrian networks and mass transit, the organization realized that running to work was probably not feasible for most of the working population. National Run@Work Day is the logical evolution of the National Run to Work Day. 

 

 ?Promoting running and a healthy lifestyle is the cornerstone of the Road Runners Club of America,? remarked Jean Knaack, executive director.  ?We encourage employers and employees nationwide to plan and participate in local Run@Work Day events as part of the national movement to get people to incorporate exercise into their daily routines.  Please join us on September 22, 2006 by making time in your busy schedule to plan and/or participate in a local Run@Work Day event.?

 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) estimates that 64% of US adults are either overweight (33%) or obese (31%), meaning they have an excess weight of 30 lbs 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 increase by 18% in those 20 years.

 

The causes of overweight and obesity can be complex. However simply put overweight and obesity results from an energy imbalance.  Eating more calories and not getting enough exercise or physical activity results in the imbalance that causes overweight.  The results of overweight and obesity can put a person at increased risks of many diseases and health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and others.  The rise of overweight and obesity and the resulting health conditions has a dramatic effect on health insurance costs around the U.S.  It is estimated that overweight and obesity health related medical costs have reached an all time high of $75.8 billion per year (www.cdc.gov).

 

The goal of the RRCA National Run@Work Day is to raise awareness about the importance of daily physical activity for adults.  Running Clubs, company-based wellness programs, human resources departments, and individuals nationwide are encouraged to plan fun runs and walks with their employers.  The Run@Work day events will be community based events that promote and provide the opportunity for individuals to incorporate at least thirty-five minutes of exercise into their daily routine either before work, during lunch, or immediately following work.  Incorporating exercise into one?s daily routine can markedly improve one?s overall physical health and can help alleviate health related medical costs associated with overweight and obesity.

 

?Getting parents active is a key step in getting children active,? commented Knaack.  ?We see Run@Work Day as an opportunity for busy parents to learn how to incorporate daily exercise into their busy schedules.? 

 

To help employers, running clubs, or individuals plan and promote their local Run@Work Day event, the RRCA has developed a ?Planning Kit? which can be found at http://www.rrca.org/programs/programs.html#P4.  The ?Kit? contains a sample press release for announcing local events, ideas for planning and promoting the event, and information on nutrition and running that can be shared with event participants.  In addition, Run@Work Day events can be posted on the RRCA Calendar for FREE at www.RRCA.org/Calendar.  Event organizers can use the special event code, Run@Work Event, when posting their event.

 

The RRCA is the national association of running clubs, running events, and runners.  The mission of the RRCA is to promote long distance grassroots running as a competitive sport and healthful exercise.  The RRCA achieves their mission by promoting the common interests of its members by providing educational opportunities, programs, and services.  The organization?s membership consists of over 700 running clubs and events which comprise over 125,000 household in the US.

 

For information about the RRCA, visit www.RRCA.org.