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Join UCOP Walkers for their next 500 miles

It happens every day at about 3 p.m. You might catch a glimpse of some half a dozen people walking briskly and purposefully through the halls and stairwells of the Franklin building, conversing quietly and greeting their colleagues as they pass by.

They are the UCOP 3 O’Clock Walkers and, no, they’re not practicing for bit parts on the AMC TV series about zombies. They are getting up out of their chairs for a few minutes of physical activity to rejuvenate their minds, bodies and spirits. And they just completed their 500th mile.

“We walk because it’s healthful, it clears the head, and it increases morale and productivity,” said Alec Rosenberg, communications coordinator for Health and Agriculture and Natural Resources, who started the group last May. “Everyone who participates really enjoys it, and they help motivate me.”

The group was inspired by the concept of “instant recess,” the brainchild of Toni Yancey, M.D., M.P.H., a professor in the Department of Health Services at UCLA’s School of Public Health. The idea is to incorporate short, 10-minute bursts of physical activity into your day to increase health and wellness.

Most of the UCOP Walkers are Rosenberg’s colleagues in Communications, but there are other loyal participants. They start on the 7th floor at about 3 p.m. every weekday, head up the stairs and around the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th floors, then down the stairs and back to the 7th floor.

It takes about 10 to 15 minutes and covers about one half mile. That’s enough, Rosenberg said, to burn 30 to 50 calories and is a healthier alternative than reaching for a vending machine snack.

“We’re all busy,” he added, “but taking a few minutes to walk helps refresh you. Sometimes you’ll also run into someone you needed to talk to about work.”

Anyone who wants to participate is invited to join the group. Just show up at about 3 p.m. in the open area near 7313B Franklin.

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