• 18 June 2014

Ten reasons why you should walk to / from work

It may be Bike Week UK this week, but in our latest blog from Sarah Liveing, founder of Walking Works and healthy living expert, we hear ten reasons why walking to and from work is the way forward.

Here are Sarah’s top ten tips:

1. Your internal organs and their functionality are really important. If you sit for a prolonged period of time you can become more at risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Walking can help counteract this as your body temperature increases and so too does your blood flow around the body providing a regular supply of oxygen, helping keep these potential problems at bay. 

2. You won’t feel lethargic. Early morning starts can be a struggle, but walking to work awakens the mind leaving you feeling highly energised, alert and ready for the day ahead.  

3. You may find it difficult to unwind from a stressful day of work, but walking acts as an after work “cool down” and your night sleep can be less interrupted and more relaxed. 

4. Concentration levels will dramatically improve; your mind won’t be left wondering as you feel more alert and prepared for the day ahead. A walk to work is a great planner in terms of your outlook for the working day and you can give your work the full attention it needs.

5. Being a low impact exercise means it isn’t too strenuous on your body, hence suiting an easy commute to work. It is really important not to over work the body as you can become highly fatigued and concentration in the day ahead diminishes. Walking is still great exercise however, being lightly paced means you won’t be to dishevelled when you reach your place of work.

6. A sense of accomplishment in walking to work regularly is a real boost of confidence. Keep it as part of your routine and you will certainly reap the rewards in the long run.

7. Walking is a great way to reduce stress as it helps you de-stress from your hectic everyday life. Take time to switch off from work and see the beauty in the small things around you such as birds tweeting, traffic noises, flowers planted along your route, trees, architecture etc. Try and appreciate what is actually around you. 

8. Walking is free travel! Make it a regular habit and collect all the money you would have had to spend on your journey by alternative method of transport. 

9. Road closures, accidents, diversions – all things that not only cause you stress but also can make you late to work. Walking to your place of work takes away this issue. There is no need to worry about traffic delays. Ensure you are fully prepared for your walk however by wearing appropriate clothing and footwear, and remember to consume regular fluids to prevent dehydration in warmer weather. 

10. Walking to work regularly will help tone your body, improve your fitness and essentially will improve strength, balance and posture. Remember, walking is suitable for any age, shape and fitness level. 

As an employer, it is important to promote healthy living as it not only improves the lifestyle of your staff, but will also ensure that your employees are motivated and come to work stress free.

What do you do to encourage your employees to get / stay fit? Do you offer incentives such as free gym membership? If so, have you noticed any improvements? Are workers more productive as a result? Are your employees less stressed?

Clearly there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that employers can take when it comes to this sort of thing, but ensuring the wellbeing of employees is becoming more and more important. As a result, employers need to consider different methods and techniques to achieve the best results possible.

We want to hear from you. Tell us what you have done to try and help improve the wellbeing of your staff. Let us know if it has worked and what you plan on doing in the future. Share your stories and experiences to help others who are also looking at addressing the same issues as you in our latest forum discussion group here.