National Walk to Work Day

Make Walking Part of Your Commute

NYC Street Crossing with Look Sign
NYC Street Crossing with Look Sign. © Spencer Platt / Getty Images News

Walking to work is a great way get more physical activity and have an active commute. Walk to Work Day is celebrated in at different times in various communities and countries. Learn more about walking to work and efforts to promote walking commutes.

About Walk to Work Day

National Walk to Work Day was held on a Friday in April in the USA, beginning in 2004. The day was promoted by Prevention magazine and endorsed by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Podiatric Medical Association.

National coordination for the event was no longer current as of 2015, but it is honored unofficially.

  • San Francisco hosts Walk to Work Day on a Friday in April.
  • UK Walk to Work Week is usually announced as a week in May, as part of Walking Month.
  • Australian Walk to Work Day is held in October.
  • Bike to Work Day and Week is held in mid-May in the USA, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. In past years, it has been Bike/Walk to Work Day and Month, but they have begun to omit the walking part.

How to Participate in Walk to Work Day

You are encouraged to walk for all or part of your commute to work. Aim for a minimum 15-minute walk each way. If you take public transportation, try walking to a further stop before boarding, or getting off a stop early and walking the rest of the distance to work. If your commute is too long, make it a Walk to Lunch Day. Invite your co-workers to join with you for Walk to Work Day, or join you in a Walk to Lunch.

The Goal - Add Healthy Steps to Your Day

Walking for 30 to 60 minutes a day greatly reduces your risk of dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. By finding a way to make walking part of each day, you are giving yourself proven health benefits far beyond any promised by herbs, vitamins, or prescription drugs.

This is why that amount of walking is recommended by the CDC and health authorities around the world.

Walking for 30 minutes a day as part of your work commute or lunch puts you into the "Moderate Physical Activity" category and greatly lowers your health risks.

How to Start Walking

If you are a stranger to walking, learn how to take your first steps with How to Walk for the Absolute Beginner. Learn how to start walking, from zero to walking comfortably for 30 minutes at a time.

Dressing for Walking to Work

Your walking shoes should be comfortable for walking for 15 to 30 minutes at a stretch. If your work shoes don't work for walking, wear athletic shoes and carry along your work shoes to change into. For April, dress for the weather with a jacket (water-resistant, with hood in rainy climates). Carry your necessary papers, purse, etc. in a small backpack. Learn more about choosing walking shoes for the best comfort for walking for this amount of time. You may also want to look for a commuter or school backpack to carry your necessities.

Track Your Walking Steps for Motivation

A pedometer, pedometer app on your mobile phone, or fitness band can motivate you to log more steps each day. Adding 2000 more steps to our day is a good way to start on your way to a goal of 10,000 steps or more.

That's about 1 mile or between 15 and 30 minutes of walking, depending on your pace.

Plan Your Walking Route

To have the best walk to work, plan out your route in advance. You can use one of the walking route planner apps or online tools. Explore cell phone apps that can guide you as you go, such as MapMyWalk.

No Good Place to Walk? Get Involved!

If there is no safe place for you to walk in your neighborhood or at work, hitting the treadmill is one answer. Getting involved to demand a walkable community is the long term solution. Pedestrian advocates work with local towns and cities to promote good sidewalks, walking and biking paths, pleasant parks, and healthier communities.

A Word From Verywell

If you have a sedentary job, walking to work can help reduce your hours of inactivity. You may not be able to walk for your entire commute, but you may be able to walk for part of it. You might even walk home from work one day and to work the next. You will be doing your body a favor.


Step It Up! The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.