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      AHA and MUSC observe National Walking Day

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Whether it's walking, running, biking, playing sports or joining a group class, The American Heart Association says we need to get more active.

      The AHA, MUSC Health, and The InterTech Group are teaming up to get residents to lace up their sneakers and walk on April 2, National Walking Day.

      AHA officials say Americans are spending more time than ever sitting at work and at home which could lead to health risks like heart disease.

      The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week for adults, and 60 minutes a day for kids.

      According to a release, research has shown that each hour of regular exercise can add about two hours to your life expectancy, even if you don't start until middle age.

      They also provide the following tips.

      • Regular physical activity can relieve tension, anxiety, depression and anger.
      • Exercise increases the flow of oxygen, which directly affects the brain. Your mental awareness and memory can be improved with physical activity.{}
      • Becoming more active can lower your blood pressure by about as much as some high-blood pressure medications.
      • Sedentary work has increased 83 percent in the U.S. since 1950. Only one of four people in our workforce now works in a physically active job.
      • Our average work week is longer. Americans work 47 hours a week - 164 more hours a year than 20 years ago.
      • Obesity costs American companies $225.8 billion a year in health-related productivity losses. An obese employee costs employer additional $460 to $2,500 in medical costs and sick days per year.
      • Kids just aren't getting enough physical education at school. Just under 4 percent of elementary schools offer P.E. every day. About 8 percent of middle schools have daily P.E., and just over 2 percent of high schools do. In all, 22 percent of U.S. schools do not require any physical education.

      MUSC Health is hosting a National Walking Day event Wednesday with the MUSC Medical Center and other city officials at 12:30 p.m. in front of the Colbert Library at 171 Ashley Avenue.

      Participants will walk the MUSC Medical Mile in support of a healthy and active lifestyle.

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