Pedestrian Council of Australia

Safety – Amenity – Access – Health

25 September 2007


Walking - the forgotten exercise

More than any other time in the year, throughout Spring, Australian TV is filled with advertisements for weight loss shakes, ab-machines and diet programs. And while many Australians guzzle diet drinks and slog it out on a treadmill to get into shape for Summer, one Australian weight loss coach says it’s all “goobeldegook”. In the lead-up to national Walk to Work Day, she asks: what ever happened to good old fashioned walking?

Weight Loss Life Coach Maz Maclean, founder of says: put simply, if you want to burn fat, walking is the most convenient and most effective exercise available. And she says Walk to Work Day is the perfect catalyst to start forming a healthy habit.

“To lose fat, exercise doesn’t have to be rigorous, painful or extremely intense. The safest and most effective way for anyone to lose weight is to undertake low to moderate intensity activity for long durations.

“And almost anyone can walk. I’ve coached around 180 Australians who, thanks to walking and eating responsibly have lost a collective total of almost 1500 kilograms and they’ve kept it off. No gym memberships, no boot camps, no expensive personal trainers. Instead, my clients simply get their sandshoes on and enjoy walk for up to an hour each day.

“Sounds simple because it is simple. We are animals designed to walk long distances by foot. Let’s not complicate it with timetables, treadmills or stressful boot camp classes,” Maz says.

“Walk to Work Day is on Friday 5 October. Why not use it to mark the start of a walking routine? Even if you walk to the next bus stop instead of getting on the bus at your door step, it still counts. Walking in the morning, when insulin levels are low is a great time for burning extra energy. Walking releases endorphins so walking all or part of the way to work really is a way to start the day on a high!”

Harold Scruby, Organiser of Walk to Work Day says walking is a free and easy way of not only getting fitter but also getting to wherever you want to go.

“Forget gym memberships. Walking costs nothing. Plus, walking is a cost-effective way of travelling short distances.

“It seems bizarre that some of us drive to the gym to walk on a treadmill!

“It took humans 50,000 years to learn how to walk and 20 years to forget.


“On Friday 5 October, we’re asking all Australians to put their best foot forward, pound the pavement instead of pushing the pedal and walk to work - for better health and cleaner air.”



Maz’ top five benefits of walking include:

1.     Walking is easy – put on some shoes, a hat and some sun screen, open the door and you’re away!

2.     As well as improving your cardiovascular system and improving your fitness level, walking is an effective mode of transport – and an environmentally friendly one!

3.     Walking burns a lot of fat, fast. Walking just two kilometres four days a week burns over 2,000 kilojoules.  This is the same amount of kilojoules found in a quarter pounder with cheese or deep-fried battered fish and chips.

4.     Walking is the cheapest form of exercise available, it’s absolutely free to do anywhere, anytime.

5.     Walking just 10km (instead of driving) can save up to 300 kilograms of greenhouse pollution each year.

Registrations for Walk to Work Day (Friday 5 October) are open now at Each registration costs $20 and helps support The Heart Foundation, Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and The Australian Conservation Foundation. Registered participants also receive an official Walk to Work Day Cap.

Businesses, councils and clubs are also encouraged to hold Walk to Work Day Healthy Breakfasts. For menu suggestions, designed by leading nutritionist Rosemary Stanton, visit

Walk to Work Day is supported by the Australian Government and all State, Territory and Local Governments.

It is also supported by the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and

the Australian Conservation Foundation.



For more information visit or contact your State’s PR Manager: