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KNOXVILLE — Friday, April 2, has been designated “National Walk to Work Day” by America on the Move, a national initiative aimed at reducing obesity and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Tennessee on the Move, a statewide non-profit organization which partners with America on the Move, is encouraging Tennesseans to accept the walk to work challenge.

“We’re challenging people to walk or bike to work on Friday,” said Dr. Michael Zemel, a University of Tennessee professor of nutrition and the director of Tennessee on the Move. “This is all part of our strategy to increase physical activity in small ways. Our city is in a state of crisis in terms of physical inactivity, which has in part lead to the devastating obesity epidemic in Knoxville.”

Zemel acknowledged that walking or biking the entire distance to work may not be possible for everyone, but urged people to “try driving halfway to work and walking the rest of the way, or parking a few blocks from your building.”

UT was awarded a $500,000 federal grant this month to launch a statewide campaign of education and support through schools, health departments and workplaces. Zemel and his team are working with businesses, schools, community groups and health departments to make Tennessee on the Move information widely available. It’s also possible to join the program online at www.americaonthemove.org/tn.