This May marks the 90th anniversary of Living Streets’ National Walking Month, celebrating walking and all the benefits it can bring to our health and happiness, as well as for the environment.
Sometimes, especially when you’re an office worker, it can seem difficult to incorporate more walking into your daily life. It is recommended that adults take part in 150 minutes of physical activity every week, however many of us don’t reach that goal. In fact, 26% of adults in the UK are active for fewer than 30 minutes each week. But there are actually lots of simple changes you can make to increase your step count and reach that all important 150 minutes of physical activity every week.
Put down the phone
When you work in a large office, sometimes it’s all too easy to pick up the phone to a colleague when you need some help. But chances are you’ll benefit more from just stepping away from your desk and speaking to them in person. Face-to-face chats are far more personal which means it’s often easier to reach a consensus on the issue at hand. And it's much easier to pick up on those non-verbal cues that you might miss over the phone. While in terms of walking, depending on the size of your office, it might not be that far, as they say, “every little helps”.
Get out of the office
Has your company taken on board the idea of walking meetings yet? If not, May could be the perfect opportunity. The weather is getting warmer, and hopefully those April showers are behind us, so how about taking your meetings outside?
On average, we spend 75% of our working day sat on our office chair, so this is one simple way to quickly reduce that figure. Plus, the change of scenery and fresh air will help to give you an energy boost and improve your productivity.
Quit the shortcut
Now, we’re not suggesting that if you live miles away from your office, that you should walk all the way there, but you can still make walking part of your journey. If you get the bus, tram or tube to work, how about getting off a stop or two earlier and walking the rest of the way?
If you drive to work, you can always try parking that bit further away from the office. If your workplace is in a busy city or town, you might even manage to save on parking costs.
Make the most of your lunch hour
Use your lunchtime to boost your walking for the day. Take a walk around the local area, and see what you find, who knows what might be waiting around the corner if you’ve never ventured far from the office before.
If you work in a town or city centre, this is also the perfect opportunity to get through your errands list. Not only will it get you out of the office and walking further than you might think, you’ll also free up spare time to do something you enjoy at the weekend.
So whether you’re taking up more walking yourself, or encouraging your fellow colleagues to get involved, there are plenty of simple ways to introduce walking into your day. As a business, you’ll see a wide range of benefits from improved staff performance and mental health, to reduced absenteeism and higher job satisfaction.
Find out more about National Walking Month on the official website.