Students talk about National Walk Around Things Day

John Wills, Staff Reporter

April 4 is National Walk Around Things Day, a holiday that highlights the importance of two very different ideas: regular exercise, and the ranking or prioritization of certain problems over others within our daily lives.

Because the origin and intended significance of the holiday is unknown, two distinct interpretations of the meaning of the holiday have developed: walking around things in the literal and the figurative sense.

The literal sense can include walking around things such as a park bench or a mud pond that may be in your way on a walk. Those who feel this is the correct interpretation find Walk Around Things Day to be in advocacy for taking a break in your day to walk around the block, the park, the neighborhood, or any other large area to get some exercise and take a well-needed mental break after a hard day.

This interpretation holds merit with those who value the benefits of regular exercise. With a nation that decreasingly focuses on regular physical activity as a priority, the day can serve as an important reminder to the dormant that moving around can be beneficial to your physical health.

Andrew Powell, a freshman music composition major, finds the benefits of physical exercise to be good – in moderation. “It’s good to be physically active so that you can keep a healthy lifestyle,” he said, “but if you can’t support overexerting yourself, it’s always a good thing to take a day or two off.”

With the hustle and bustle of campus life, some students find it difficult to get out and be active.

“I see the importance of it, right, but I don’t do it,” said Levi Kurtz, a freshman chemistry major.

The figurative interpretation involves our ability to rank problems we’re having in our lives, and decide which ones are worth addressing and which ones are worth putting off for another day.

The term “walking around”, in this sense, can refer to our ability to walk around certain problems in our lives. The argument here is that if humans were to address every problem that we have in our lives simultaneously and without breaks, we’d simply go insane. Those who follow this philosophy find that it’s sometimes beneficial, if not necessary, to sidetrack some issues over others in the interest of overall bettering yourself and your mental health.

“I had to make a full week’s schedule,” Powell said. “I had to basically plan out every minute of my life. I allotted a certain amount of time for each individual task. If the task doesn’t get done in that amount of time, I push it to the end of the week, which is when I get stuff done that I wasn’t able to earlier.”

Kurtz’s strategy for task management is more relaxed than that, however. How well does he handle juggling the various responsibilities he has each day? “Not well,” he said.

“Normally, things that I must do now, I do now. I do a lot of procrastinating until the last minute, because I’ve got a lot going on.”

Like many similarly unknown holidays, the origin and intended meaning of National Walk Around Things Day is unknown.

Many other unofficial holidays are scattered throughout online calendars across the internet, but very few have any real “National” precedent to them – that is to say, it wasn’t a President or a member of Congress who brought them into fruition.

Most of these seemingly infinite celebrations are made up by the people running the websites on which they primarily appear.

Only 10 holidays are officially recognized and celebrated in the United States. These are the big-ticket holidays, like Christmas and Independence Day. On top of those celebrations, 44 more are government-sanctioned national observances, such as Flag Day and Mother’s Day.

Some creators do this to monetize their product; July 24th, National Drive Thru Day, was created by fast food chain Jack in the Box in the interest of driving sales. National Underwear Day was similarly brought into existence by online underwear retailer Freshpair.

No matter the creator or the intent, National Walk Around Things Day and holidays like it are appealing to businesses who use them to run promotions and deals. Despite their seemingly corporate intent, however, most of these holidays can prove to be worthwhile celebrations, as they remind us to do things that make us happy and improve our mental health throughout the year – even when there’s seemingly no reason to celebrate.


John Wills can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]