UK urged to ‘lace up’ for National Walking Month 2017
Living Streets, the ‘charity for everyday walking’, is urging the public to ‘Try20’ during National Walking Month this May.
The annual campaign encourages people to walk for 20 minutes every day throughout the month and ‘observe the big differences small steps can make’.
Living Streets says that getting people out of their cars and onto their feet is part of the solution to the UK’s congestion and air pollution problems.
Last year, Living Streets’ Try20 campaign saw thousands of people across the UK pledge to walk for 20 minutes a day. In a follow up survey in December 2016, 75% of pledgers were still walking for 20 minutes a day and reporting stories of weight loss, money saving, improved social life and increased fitness.
Living Streets promotes walking as a free, easy and fun way to improve health. From a lower risk of contracting heart disease, certain cancers, depression and type 2 diabetes, to aiding weight loss and reducing feelings of stress and isolation.
This year, Living Streets is also commissioning a survey to find the best cities in the UK for walking, judged on a range of criteria including safety, air pollution and street clutter. A leaderboard will be published in time for the launch of National Walking Month 2017.
Anyone across the UK will be able to ‘Rate their city walk’ throughout National Walking Month in an online quiz. The charity will then offer recommendations on action participants could take to make their city more walking-friendly.
Among the novel ideas this year for employers is the creation of a food exclusion zone (FEZ) by ‘banning’ employees from using shops close to the workplace in a bid to encourage them to walk further for their lunch and other snacks etc.
One of National Walking Month’s sponsors, Westfield Health, is encouraging employees to log their miles on an online tracker, as part of a competition among workplaces. Prizes include £1,000 towards a health and wellbeing initiative in the workplace, fitness trackers and vouchers for the most active teams and individuals.
To support the week, Living Streets has produced a number of digital and conventional resources available to download free of charge from the event website.