Let's Walk - Devon's biggest workplace walking challenge

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Authored by Mary
Posted: Monday, January 27, 2020 - 10:32

If you are hoping to become more active in 2020, while enjoying some friendly competition at the same time, you can team up with work colleagues and enter a Devon wide walking challenge. 

This February’s ‘Let’s Walk’ challenge will encourage employees to get out of the office and raise heart rates a little.  If becoming healthier isn’t incentive enough, there are also prizes on offer for those workplaces leading the way in striding out across the county. Individuals can sign up alongside work colleagues and start ‘collecting’ steps! Those who achieve the highest average numbers will put their workplace on the leaderboard!  

It’s hoped that February 2020 will mark the start of an exciting journey for teams across the county, benefitting staff, businesses, Devon’s wider communities and the environment.

‘Let’s Walk’ demonstrates how little changes make a big difference. 

The campaign aims to:

  • Get people walking more, and to consider the power of walking for health and wellbeing, encouraging more walking at work, to and from work, and at the weekends
  • Encourage businesses to support a walk-friendly culture and show the commitment and leadership towards a more active, productive workforce
  • Create more meaningful connections between people and their communities, local public spaces and the environment

Why Walking?

  • Improves your health and wellbeing, making you happier
  • Boosts energy, morale and productivity, and is good for business
  • Makes our communities cleaner and greener, and protects the environment

According to British Heart Foundation research, an employer who actively promotes wellbeing in the workplace is 8 x more likely to have employees engaged in their work, while physically active workers take 27% less sick days over the course of a year.

 “Increasing physical activity is one of the most powerful interventions known for improving public health and wellbeing” said Hannah Worth, Director at Active Devon. 

“Physical inactivity can have real business and economic consequences. Workplace sickness alone is estimated to cost the economy in England £5.5bn a year, so we’re hoping this campaign will appeal to employer and employee alike.”  

“The aim is to help people build a little more activity into their working day and shift the working culture to become less sedentary. It’s estimated that for many people 80% of the working day is spent sat down. Sitting for long periods has very negative health impacts, reducing metabolism and increasing likelihood of acquiring conditions such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.” 

Following the walkaway success of the initiative in previous years, there’s now another chance for local businesses and their staff to get involved.  

“More than 1000 people took part last year and we got some excellent feedback from them.” said Emily van Vliet, who’s organising the challenge for Active Devon. 

“The evidence is clear, compelling and irrefutable: walking more has the power to transform your health and wellbeing, it adds energy, productivity and motivation to the workforce, and it makes for cleaner, greener and more socially engaged public spaces.”

“What’s more, it enables each of us to positively protect the environment and connect more deeply with what it means to be alive. Walking might be the single greatest change any of us can make, in terms of its power to transform ourselves and the world around us.”

Active Devon is delivering the Let’s Walk campaign as part of Devon County Council’s Access Fund programme “Walking and Cycling to Prosperity."

Participating workplaces will be sent introductory information packs to help inspire their workforce and build momentum.  

If you haven’t already, make sure that you and your team members have signed up to take part in the challenge. To sign up or learn more visit activedevon.org/lets-walk

All those taking part in February 2020 will be encouraged to share their photos and experiences on social media using #LETSWALKDEVON.

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