It’s time to walk the walk

We often talk about sustainable transport – electric cars, public transport and cycling, but the most sustainable transport of all is, of course, walking!

Friedrich Nietzsche once declared that “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” This is also backed up by studies by Stanford University which have shown that a person’s creative output increased by around 60 per cent when walking.

In many cities, employers have become increasingly cycle-friendly. But could more be done to increase our walking?

Encouraging walking, both within the workplace, as well as for travelling to and from work, brings significant benefits for staff and for employers. These range from creativity to physical and mental health.

Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally. 

Long periods spent sitting at work have public health implications, including increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

This is recognised by some companies which are designing their offices to encourage walking. One major electronics company’s headquarters has been designed around a walking layout so that employees are never more than a floor away from stepping outside for a walk.

Other companies are incorporating a “daily mile” route to encourage employees to get out for a walk. 

We can design physical activity back into our everyday lives by incentivising and facilitating walking as regular daily transport and creating environments that encourage healthier choices.  

Actions that businesses can take include promoting walking meetings, having a “daily mile” route and promoting walking initiatives by offering incentives to buy good quality walking trainers or activity trackers.

Walking is the lowest-carbon, least polluting form of transport. And best of all – it is free, it is reliable and it makes people happy and healthier.