Pedestrian Council of Australia
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health


Media Release

Tuesday 3 October 2006



When Walk to Work Day participants hit the pavement on Friday 6 October, they will not only be fighting the battle of the bulge, they will also be helping to combat depression.


“Research shows that regular physical activity leads to a 17-28% reduced risk of developing depression. Regular aerobic and strength exercises can also lead to a 50% reduction in the symptoms of depression and anxiety, especially for women and older people,” says beyondblue CEO Leonie Young.


“Regular walking can lift your mood, prevent interrupted sleep, increase energy, decrease fatigue and lead to an improved sense of wellbeing.


“On average, depressed people exercise only about half as much as people who aren’t depressed. So exercising to look after your physical health helps maintain good mental health,” says Young.


The National Heart Foundation recommends that adults participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most, preferably all days of the week. Children and adolescents need to participate in at least sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous activity.


Heart Foundation National Physical Activity Manager, Trevor Shilton says the good news is that people who are pushed for time, do not have to do all of this activity in one go.


“Short walks such as walking to the bus stop or getting off one stop early are the perfect prescription to help more Australians get the recommended levels of daily physical activity needed for good health,” he says.


“Regular physical activity like walking reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type II diabetes, osteoporosis and colon cancers,” Shilton adds.


Reducing household budgets might be one way to accommodate higher petrol prices but according to the Pedestrian Council of Australia, there are better ways to battle the bowser.


“One of the most effective steps to fight petrol prices is to leave the car at home and walk to work” says Harold Scruby, Chairman of the Pedestrian Council of Australia and organiser of Walk to Work Day.


While it isn’t practical for everyone to walk all the way to work, Scruby suggests driving part of the way, or catching public transport, and walking the rest of the way.

“The average Australian would probably be surprised at how much money can be saved by swapping the car keys for joggers,” he says. “Reducing driving from 30kms to 20kms per day can equal savings of hundreds of dollars per year. Not to mention the reduction in traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.”

All Australians are encouraged to participate on Walk to Work Day on Friday 6 October.




$1.15 Melbourne

$1.15 Perth

$1.13 Adelaide

$1.13 Sydney

$1.03 Brisbane


Source: 27 September 2006





* Statistics on petrol savings can be calculated at


Walk to Work Day is an initiative of the Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA). It is sponsored by the Australian Government and supported by each State and Territory Government.


Walk to Work Day is also supported by the Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia, the Cancer Council and beyondblue.


For more information about Walk to Work Day, visit


IMPACT Communications Australia

·          Frances Dwyer, (02) 9519 5411 or 0402 382 477

Allison Lee, (02) 9519 5411 or 0410 485 131