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When it comes to our daily commute, we could all use a little inspiration. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to encourage employers in eastern Massachusetts to participate in the 2014 Walk/Ride Corporate Challenge — an annual competition that encourages workers to use more environmentally friendly and healthier modes of transportation as they make their way to work every day.

Individuals walking to work.

Individuals walking to work.

The Walk Ride Day Challenge is an innovative way for people to explore commuting alternatives that can provide real benefits for their own health and for the overall health of the community.  Any chance that we have to go car-free is an opportunity to get more exercise, while reducing our impact on the environment.

The Walk/Ride Day Corporate Challenge is organized by the Green Streets Initiative, a community organization dedicated to championing sustainable, active transportation in greater Boston and beyond. Since 2006, Green Streets has promoted Walk/Ride Days, encouraging area commuters to walk, bike, or take public transit instead of driving to work on the last Friday of every month.

In the Corporate Challenge, workplaces vie to have the most employees participate in the monthly Walk/Ride Days.  Over seven months, workers report their modes of transportation, and contest organizers randomly select employees from each month’s winning organization to receive raffle prizes. Hundreds of Walk/Ride Day Retail Partners throughout the region offer freebies, discounts, and other incentives to participants.

The Department has participated in the Corporate Challenge since its inception, as an example of a community-based effort that encourages people to make healthier choices for a more active lifestyle. In fact, Walk/Ride Days dovetail perfectly with the overarching goal of our Mass in Motion initiative, a statewide movement to prevent obesity in Massachusetts by increasing opportunities for healthy eating and active living in the places we live, learn, work, and play.

The 2014 Work/Ride Day Corporate Challenge begins in April and runs through the end of October. If your workplace is interested in joining the Challenge, visit the Green Streets Initiative’s enrollment website.

Written By:


Commissioner of the Department of Public Health

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