This week (14–18 May) is Walk to Work week, organised by the charity Living Streets. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise as it is low impact, with a low risk of injury or accident, yet it is still good for the heart, lungs, muscles and bones.
Regular walking can not only help with weight loss, it has also been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and some cancers. It’s also completely free – the only equipment you really need is a good pair of comfortable shoes.
In recognition of the important role that incorporating physical activity into the working day can play in helping people to keep fit, NHS North East started the award winning Workforce Workfit challenge in June last year. The challenge aims to encourage people to get fit in the run up to the Olympics through supporting employers across the region to set up fun physical activities for their staff.
Elaine Wilson, Olympic ambassador for NHS North East said:
“Walk to Work week is another perfect opportunity for employees across the north east to bring exercise into their working day. Organising a group of others who live nearby to walk together or arranging a regular lunchtime walk with your team can also make it a fun and sociable experience, as well as helping to keep fit.”
Paul Johnstone, director of public health at NHS North of England, said:
“Walking is one of the easiest and most practical ways to get your required amount of exercise. Walking for just half an hour a day can help to improve your fitness levels and reduce stress.
“You don’t have to go up hill and down dale to make sure you do some walking, leaving the car at home or parking a few streets way from work or getting off the bus one or two stops early are good ways to make sure you cover the miles.”
To count as moderate exercise you should walk at about four miles an hour, which is about the pace you’d walk if late for an appointment. Do this five times a week and you’ll soon feel the difference.
Three steps to better health:
• If possible leave the car at home and walk to work. If it’s not possible, park a few streets away from work and walk the rest of the way
• Get off the bus one or two stops early and walk the rest of the way
• Get some fresh air and go for a short walk during your lunch hour at work
As part of a healthy lifestyle it is recommended that adults should do at least thirty minutes of moderate exercise five times a week, and those under eighteen should be doing an hour each day.
To find out more about Walk to Work week and the benefits of walking, visit www.livingstreets.org.uk. You can also find out about other simple ways to keep active and eat healthily at www.change4life.co.uk.
Kenny Helyer – communications officer
0191 210 6493 / email@example.com
For out of hours media contacts ring 0191 210 6482.
Notes to editors
Walk to work week is organised by Living Streets, a charity which stands up for pedestrians. By going to http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/walk-with-us/walking-and-work you can log your miles and monitor your progress.