Step off Friday for SVS Vascular Health Step Challenge


The month of September begins Friday and with it, the SVS Foundation’s Vascular Health Step Challenge.

The initiative challenges participants to walk 60 miles—representing the 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body—throughout the month, which is National Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Awareness Month.

The challenge amplifies the importance of vascular health while also promoting health vascular health habits. The Foundation will use funds raised to fund the future of vascular surgery and fulfill the Foundation’s mission.

According to estimates, more than 12 million people in the United States suffer with PAD, caused by buildup of plaque in the lower extremities, which narrows the arteries and causes them to become stiff. In the most severe cases, PAD can lead to amputation. 

Exercise therapy—such as walking—is a first-line response to PAD, and numerous studies have confirmed the health benefits of putting one foot in front of the other. The SVS Foundation lists a number of walking benefits on its Step Challenge information page, And a recent meta-analysis of 17 studies study showed people who walk at least 4,000 steps a day can lower their risk of death from any cause. Those who walk only 2,337 steps a day lower their risk of death from cardiovascular disease. 

Beyond mere bragging rights are prizes: a Sport backpack for those who meet the 60-mile goal; a Stanley drink cup for those who raise $600; a Step Challenge hat for team members who meet the $6,000 team goal; and an outdoor blanket for the top individual walker and fundraiser. 

New this year is a “Pay it Forward” initiative in which registrants offer to pay the $60 sign-up fee for low-income patients. Sponsors for this year’s Step Challenge are: AOTI, Gore, The Way to My Heart organization, Medtronic, 3M and the Society for Vascular Nursing (SVN).


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