Why Shift Your Commute?
Being an active commuter can benefit your life in a number of ways. By incorporating active transportation into your commute, you can save money, reduce stress, and build a healthier lifestyle!
Expenses associated with driving to work every day include gas, maintenance, and depreciation of the vehicle, all of which add up quickly. At WashU, there is also the added expense of a parking permit. However, by walking, biking, or riding MetroBus and MetroLink with a U-Pass, you can get to campus for free! Washington University offers several programs to support active commuters, including Occasional Parking, Guaranteed Ride Home, Car Sharing, and Campus2Home.
Driving commutes can be stressful ordeals, subject to unpredictable traffic and long periods of inactivity. An active commute has all the beneficial effects of physical activity. Regular physical activity like consistent walking improves health by helping control weight and building and maintaining healthy bones and muscles. It also reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, depression, and anxiety. Commutes that involve public transit or carpools can become time spent productively if you choose to use it answering emails and calls or relaxing by reading a book or catching up on the news. The time you spend walking or biking on an active commute is built-in physical activity, which can contribute to weekly fitness goals.
Earn Points through WashU Moves Challenge
Every April, the Office of Sustainability and Parking & Transportation Department host Active Transportation Month (ATM). The goal of ATM is to motivate the WashU community to kick the car habit and try active, low-carbon means of transportation.
To encourage widespread adoption of active transportation, the Office of Sustainability is collaborating with the Wellness Connection’s WashU Moves Campaign – an activity challenge for all benefits-eligible Washington University faculty, staff, clinical fellows and postdoctoral appointees.
Walking, a form of active transportation, is one of the easiest ways to get moving and improve your health. Research shows that taking 10,000 steps per day (about 5 miles) can significantly improve your overall fitness and reduce your risk for myriad diseases. Increased activity can also boost your mood and improve productivity.
Participants of the WashU Challenge are challenged to log 10,000 steps per day over the 100-day challenge. Employees can engage in a variety of activities –including biking and taking the metro – and convert that movement into steps using the conversion guide. Each month you walk, bike, or take public transit four out of five days each week, you can earn 5 points toward your gift card. Individual participants can earn up to a $30 gift card for achieving steps milestones during the challenge that ends June 23, 2017.
For more information and a registration link, click here.