According to health professionals we should walk 10,000 steps a day to benefit our health. Why not invest in a cheap pedometer and start counting?
Regular walking is a good cardiovascular workout, burns calories and reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, asthma and some cancers.
If you live too far away to walk all of the way you could combine public transport with walking. Or, consider parking a mile away and walking the rest of the way. You might be surprised how a little extra exercise can invigorate you for the day.
Plan your route. You don’t have to walk the same route that you would normally drive. You will probably find quieter side streets and paths more pleasant. Use an online journey planner to find the quickest, quietest and flattest route.
Estimate your walking time first so that you are not late for work. Plan to walk a mile in 20 minutes or a kilometre in 12 minutes. Allow slightly longer if you have to cross many streets with traffic light crossings. Time yourself on the first couple of days to get a more accurate idea of your walking pace.
Shoes and clothing:
- Wear comfortable shoes like trainers. You can always carry a pair of smarter shoes or leave a pair at work.
- Wear clothing that doesn’t restrict your leg movement. Pencil skirts might not be such a good idea!
- Be prepared for the great British weather by wearing layers and carrying a telescopic umbrella. Waterproof clothing is useful when it really pours down, but studies have found that on average it only rains eight times a year during morning or afternoon rush hour. Check the weather forecast before you go.
- Light-coloured clothing, particularly during the winter months, will help to make you more visible to others.
Carrying stuff. Consider switching to a back pack rather than carrying a briefcase or heavy bag. This will help prevent back ache and be better for your posture.
Staying fresh. If you are worried that you’ll get too hot and bothered give yourself a few minutes to cool down and dry off when you arrive.
Tips for staying fresh:
- Drink plenty of water
- Change into a fresh shirt
- Consider taking a bus or train to work and then walking home instead
Run to work
For those who fancy more of a challenge, why not try running to work instead? For more information, see our top tips on running to work.
Promoting walking at your workplace
Our Travel Devon Toolkit for businesses provides the business case for promoting walking and active working in the sedentary office environment. Visit our website and find out how your site facilities and business initiatives can support staff to walk or run to work.
Register to the Travel Devon Toolkit and, if your business is in Exeter, Newton Abbot or Barnstaple, you will be eligible for sustainable travel grant funding. You will also find activities and template resources for promoting walking to staff and other travel planning advice.