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TRAINING OF TRAVELSMART OFFICERS, 2003

THINKING ABOUT THE RANGE OF TRAVEL CHOICES

Walking

One of the healthiest and cheapest ways for staff to get to work is to use their feet.

Doctors recommend about 30 minutes of regular exercise each day. That doesn't necessarily mean running flat out on a treadmill. It can mean walking or cycling a reasonable distance- just enough to be breathing a little heavier and feeling warm.

Walking is a perfect start to the day. Staff get some exercise that they might not have time for otherwise and arrive at work alert and ready to go.

Office walkers walking and riding to work

Thirty minutes of walking to and from work each day can help to:

These not only have a direct personal benefit for staff members - a fitter and healthier workforce takes less time off for sick leave and enjoys higher levels of productivity.

Walking also has the lowest environmental impact of all forms of transport. It produces no pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, community safety is enhanced when more people choose to get out of their cars and into the streets.

Promoting the health benefits of walking to staff through short messages - e.g. walking briskly for half an hour per day can halve the risk of heart disease - are perhaps the most effective form of encouragement.

As an employer, you might be wondering what you can do to encourage staff to walk more. Here's a checklist of ideas you can try and include in an access plan.

Identify employees living near work that may be interested in walking to work