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Posted on Mon, Apr 4, 2011 : 1:01 p.m.

Promising a lower-stress commute, Ann Arbor gears up for its getDowntown Commuter Challenge

By Nancy Shore

Feeling a little stressed at work lately? If so, you're not alone. According to a recent survey, 77 percent of employees are feeling some sort of work-related stress these days.

Not surprisingly, employees ranked commuting to work as the second most stressful aspect, behind low pay.

What the survey didn't show is that commuting stress can be lessened, even eliminated, through one simple act: trying a green commute.

Ann Arbor's getDowntown Program has found that employees who walk, bike, bus, carpool, or telecommute to work are less worried about gas prices and more happy with their commute overall as compared to people who drive alone every day.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for angelini_and_associates_green_Commute_Day_2010.jpgCommuter Challenge Participants Angelini and Associates.

Employees who use a green commute find more time to relax, exercise and even make friends on their way to work. That's true even if they use a green commute just a couple of times a week.

As the weather warms up and gas prices start to climb, now is a great time to decrease the stress and try a green commute. The getDowntown Program makes it even easier with our premier event, The Commuter Challenge.

The Commuter Challenge is a commuting competition that happens every May. Geared toward downtown Ann Arbor workers, the challenge encourages employees to hop on a bus, grab their walking shoes, dust off their bikes, form a carpool and otherwise try a green commute.

With a bunch of exciting events, lots of prizes and many organizations already signed up, the Commuter Challenge is sure to make commuting fun for even the most stressed-out worker.

If you're interested in signing up for the Commuter Challenge, all you have to do is go to and create a user account.

Once you've created an account, register for the challenge as part of an organization. Then in May, you'll have the chance to log a green commute for fabulous prizes, fun and fame!

Want to learn more about the challenge, grab a snack, and maybe win a prize? Come on over to the getDowntown snack break at the Community Space on April 20 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Click here for more details.