Walk to Work Day

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Health Assured team

07 March 2019

Detailed in the Department for Transports 2017 Walking and Cycling report, just 11% of UK employees walk to work.

Held on the first Friday of every April, Walk to Work Day encourages us to leave the car keys at home and add more steps to our commute by walking to work.

The wellbeing day first began in the USA in 2004 before featuring on the UK wellbeing calendar. Now, employees across the country are being reminded of the physical and emotional health benefits of walking every year.

Benefits of walking:

Physical: Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.

Mental: Walking can instantly lift your mood — especially when you are outdoors. The activity boosts your body’s endorphins which as a result, reduces stress levels and increases motivation.

Enhanced creativity: Whether you are stuck for ideas for an upcoming project, or can’t find a solution to overcome an obstacle in the workplace, walking has been proven to get the creative juices flowing. A study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience found that walking improved both convergent and divergent thinking, the two types associated with enhanced creativity.

Financial: As well as the various physical and mental benefits that come with walking, it can also save you money. Gym memberships and home exercise equipment can become quite costly, whereas walking won’t cost you a penny.

How to get involved:

Getting involved with Walk to Work Day is easy. Below we have listed 5 simple steps for you to follow to help make your walk to work as successful as possible.

Step 1: Be prepared

Because you are making a change from your usual daily routine and commute, it would be wise to set your alarm early, pack your bag the night before and make sure you get plenty of sleep prior to taking part in Walk to Work Day.

Step 2: Plan your route

Make sure you plan the route you want to take before setting off. Consider timings, terrain and your personal safety. This will ensure that you arrive at work on time in a motivated and comfortable manner.

Step 3: Pick your footwear

Swap your work-shoes for a pair of comfy trainers or walking shoes to help make your journey as smooth as possible.

Step 4: Be realistic

If you don’t live within a sensible walking distance to your workplace, then don’t set yourself the task of walking the entire journey. Adjustments can be made for you to still take part in the wellbeing day, such as, taking public transport for a portion of the journey, or parking your car a sufficient distance away from your workplace, and walking the remainder.

Step 5: Check the weather

Make sure that you are fully prepared for what the weather has in store for Walk to Work Day. Pack a bag with waterproofs or an umbrella for any weather-related emergencies.

Spread the word:

In the lead up to your journey, help raise awareness of the wellbeing event by using the hashtag #WalktoWorkDay on social media.

You could also track your progress via a step counting app and share your results with your friends, family and colleagues. Why not make it a friendly competition to see who can total the most steps or calories burnt?

If you feel as though you have issues with your physical health, or if you have any other wellbeing concerns, please call our helpline on:

0800 030 5182

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