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UCLA Nurse Makes Her Way Actively Commuting

Active commuter Chrissy

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She’s using her feet to get to work and remains on them all day. Christine Romero McCoy (Chrissy), a nurse in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at UCLA’s Santa Monica Medical Center, can sustain her energy over 12-hour shifts in part due to her healthy, sustainable commute.

A nurse for over 20 years, Chrissy alternates between riding her bike and walking to the hospital, where she works in the PACU recovery room. She's been with UCLA Health for almost four years  and actively commuted the entire time. 

I love the work and I have an amazing director and managers. My co-workers are always supportive and helpful when things get busy,” said Chrissy.

Especially on those busy days, the active commute helps her stay energized.

“Walking and biking are a wonderful way to increase your sense of well-being and "wake up" before work! The increase in my blood flow really gets my brain going,” said Chrissy.

She adds that active commuting also strengthens her leg muscles so she can keep up with all the walking she needs to do while caring for patients. Chrissy finds the active commute beneficial for her mental health, too.

“It’s also therapeutic for me to see the lovely green trees, blue skies, people walking their dogs, and children walking to school before I start my long shifts,” said Chrissy.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, physical activity is an essential ingredient for health. Active transportation provides a convenient way for people to meet physical activity targets, all within the framework of their daily commute.

The National Institutes of Health reports regular walking can have many health benefits, like strengthening bones and lifting your mood. In addition to being good for the heart and lungs, the health benefits of bike commuting include relieving stress and helping you sleep better. 

Besides clearing her head and giving her energy, Chrissy opts to ditch the drive because it's faster and saves money.

Driving would cost me a lot of money and likely take more time than walking or biking because parking is so difficult,” she said.

“It's quicker to find a place to park your bike than it is to find a spot for a car. Also, it's free!”

Power up your commute and win a prize during UCLA Sustainable Transportation Month by pledging to try walking, riding a bike, taking transit, carpooling, or telecommuting.

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