We love walking. It’s good for you, it’s good for business and it’s good for the environment. Here’s why.
- Walking is free
- You can do it anywhere
- It easily fits around busy schedules
- You can do it at work
- You can do it at home
- You don’t need special equipment (or lycra)
- You can do it with friends and family
- It’s safe and low risk
- Did we mention that it’s free?
Walking for Health
A short walk goes a long way. We should all aim to be active for 150 minutes (2½ hours) each week and walking at a moderate pace is ideal. You can break this into chunks of 10 minutes, so it’s easy to fit into a busy day.
And there are lots of benefits. Active people live longer and healthier lives. Being active can:
- Reduce the risk of heart disease by half
- Lower the risk of strokes
- Reduce the risk of some cancers, particularly colon and breast cancer
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and can help to control diabetes
- Improve mood and reduces the risk of depression
- Manage weight and reduce blood pressure
Walking and Work
Walking really works, here’s the bottom line.
A physically active workforce takes 27% fewer sick days, that works out at 2 days improved attendance annually per employee (British Heart Foundation website, quoting the Physical Activity Taskforce 2003)
Health care costs arising from physical inactivity amount to £94m/year (or approximately £18 per Scottish resident per year). If people become more active through walking this will relieve the financial burden on tax payers and health services.
Transport emissions accounted for 21% of Scotland’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2013, second only to energy supply. Emissions from road transport dominated (88%) with 48% of transport emissions from cars alone. With 37% of all driver journeys being less than 3km and 50% less than 5km many more journeys can be made by walking. This would significantly reduce emissions and improve air quality. Many employers can save by reducing parking spaces if more staff leave their car at home more often.
At July 2015 petrol prices, annual savings from replacing 5 short car journeys per week with walking or cycling are calculated at:
2 miles £93.60
3 miles £137.80
5 miles £231.40