Event encourages workers to walk to lunch

PARKERSBURG – A local event to encourage a healthier lifestyle will be held at noon today in Parkersburg.

Highmark West Virginia and the Wellness Council of West Virginia will promote healthy workplace habits with National Walk@Lunch Day.

“I always say turn that ‘working lunch into a walking lunch,'” said Cathy McAlister, an organizer with Highmark.

The walk begins at noon at Seventh and Market streets at the Highmark West Virginia plaza where the Highmark headquarters are located.

The route is from Market Street toward Eighth Street, left onto Eighth Street, right onto Juliana Street to 13th Street, then back on Market Street to finish at the YMCA on Market Street for refreshments.

In the event of inclement weather, mostly rain, the walk will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, she said. Several strong showers occurred on Tuesday in Parkersburg and organizers waited until the last minute to proceed with today, McAlister said.

“We have our fingers crossed,” she said.

No registration or other prerequisite is required to participate in the walk. All people have to do is go to the starting site, McAlister said.

“Just show up with your tennis shoes on,” she said.

Finishing at the YMCA also will highlight the downtown exercise facility on Market Street, McAlister said.

The eighth annual walk is part of a growing national workplace fitness effort created in response to recent studies that show Americans do not have time during their day to exercise. Highmark West Virginia was an early supporter of the effort.