Stepping out for National Walk to Work Week – 26 to 30 April 2010

April 7th, 2010 by Pat Wisher

With the latest figures showing that 61% of us are currently overweight or obese and with government figures showing that we jump in the car for over a fifth of journeys shorter than one mile, commuters in Guernsey are being urged to walk their way to a healthier lifestyle during National Walk to Work Week (26 – 30 April 2010).


National charity Living Streets runs the Walking Works campaign to highlight the role that walking can play in bringing some much-needed activity into our daily lives.  Living Streets Guernsey (formerly STEPS) is hoping that Guernsey businesses will encourage their staff to take part this year.

The theme this year is “Get fit without the hassle” – encouraging people to view the streets as their gym – much better than driving to the gym and working out on a walking machine!  The benefits of walking, for health, the environment and people’s pockets, are well documented. What’s often missing is the encouragement to make walking a regular part of people’s daily lives.

Secretary of Living Streets, Pat Wisher says:

“There’s been a lot of emphasis on healthy eating and we all know we should have “5 a day”, but the “30 a day” message isn’t being heard.  Health professionals recommend that walking 30 minutes 5 days a week can transform your health (and save you lots of money on gym memberships). Walking to and from work must be the best way of achieving your 30 a day.”

The distances in Guernsey are so small that it must be easy for many commuters within a mile or so of their workplace to walk to work – a mile is a 15 minute walk.  Walk to Work Week is a reminder that walking all (or part) of the commute is fun, green, really sociable and healthy.

Chief Executive of Living Streets UK, Tony Armstrong says:

“Being active doesn’t have to mean costly gym sessions, or marathon running attempts – there is a free and easy way to work more exercise into your daily routine, and it is often overlooked – give yourself a daily dose of walking.

“The benefits of walking more are huge and not only for your health, but to give time to plan for the day ahead, or to unwind after it.  It can be as simple as stepping outside for a lunchtime walk, or getting off the bus a few stops earlier on your way into the office.  That time spent walking, whether on your own or with colleagues, is a chance to take a step back from your inbox, breaking up your day and improving your productivity once you return”.

Inactivity not only has a huge impact on the health of individuals, it affects businesses too.  Experts suggest that just 90 minutes of exercise a week can cut absenteeism by up to a half.  UK research shows that in 2007, the average worker took almost 7 days off work sick, losing 172 million working days and costing the economy a total of 13.2 billion.

Make sure your workplace gets involved.   Who knows – walking to work might become a habit!

Pat Wisher

Secretary of Living Streets Guernsey

Website: www.walkingworks.org.uk

Living Streets website: www.livingstreets.org.gg

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