Millions of Americans travel through airports each day. Airports can be a hectic place, long layovers and people everywhere. Walking is the easiest and most preferred method of physical activity by South Dakotans. Walking is something you can do anywhere, even in airports when the craziness and lack of sleep seem overwhelming.
Walking in airports is a great way to encourage continued physical activity, specifically for times when travel fills the day. Large airports usually have motorized transportation options for travelers, such as taking a train or shuttle, to go from one terminal to the next. Of course in some cases this is necessary for travelers, however this can also discourage travelers from walking to their destinations. Providing motivational signage to encourage walking is key strategy for airports to assist with walking promotion and overcome this barrier.
Walking in airports offers many health benefits to the individual traveler, as well as direct benefits to the airport facility promoting walking. Walking is a great mode of activity to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines, helps with weight management, decreases risk for many chronic conditions and is a great way to improve your mood. Airports are free of the common weather, safety and comfort barriers for physical activity and often have long hallways and walking routes, providing a prime location get your steps in!
Travelers also see more businesses and are exposed to more resources throughout the facility when they travel by foot, which may directly benefit businesses spread throughout the facility. Walking promotion in airports also offers a worksite wellness benefit for airport employees, providing them with an outlet to be physically active over their breaks throughout the day.
Airport Walking Guide
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released an Airport Walking Guide to help create physical activity opportunities in all aspect of communities. This guide is designed specifically for airport managers and shares specific strategies and benefits for airport walking.
Next time you travel by air, remember to pack your tennis shoes in your carry-on!