Stressing a greater focus on employee health and productivity, South Australian corporations, organisations and government agencies are being asked to become Walking Workplaces by supporting Walk to Work Day.
The event is on October 1 but employers can by gain health benefits for their work force by registering immediately as a Walking Workplace at www.walk.com.au
The Pedestrian Council of Australia's (PCA) Walking Workplaces program aims to promote the physical, mental and social benefits of walking, along with the environmental benefits associated with reduced fuel consumption.
PCA chairman Harold Scruby says it has been shown that moderate physical activity such as walking even 15 minutes before and after work each day can significantly enhance well-being and productivity, and reduce absenteeism.
In the lead up to Walk to Work Day, organisations who have joined up as a Walking Workplace can learn how to support their staff in taking more and regular exercise - making them more alert and banishing feelings of depression and anxiety.
From HR managers to CEOs, business leaders who register online as a Walking Workplace will receive Walk to Work Day posters and e-newsletters with motivational tips for employees and ideas on how their workplace can become more walking-friendly.
They will also be formally recognised as a Walking Workplace with a certificate, and their logo will appear on the national website - www.walk.com.au
The event promotes regular walking for better physical, mental and social health; reduced reliance on private cars; improved use of public transport; and improved air quality by reducing vehicle emissions, helping to tackle climate change.
Mr Scruby says there is overwhelming evidence that physical inactivity increases all causes of mortality, doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity, and increases the risks of certain cancers, high blood pressure, lipid disorders, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety.
He says that if people are unable to walk all of the way to work, they are encouraged to use public transport and then walk at least one kilometre to their workplace.
Walking Workplaces are being asked, where possible, to host a healthy breakfast for employees who participate in the event and Mr Scruby said senior executive support was vital to maintain and improve the program.
"We are challenging Australia's employers and senior managers to register their companies and organisations as Walking Workplaces," he said.
This year also, individuals can Pledge to Put their Feet First and win one of two walking holidays thanks to wotif.com (in New Zealand and Tasmania) or one of hundreds of new pairs of Rockport shoes valued at $200 a pair. And every person who goes online to Pledge to Put their Feet First will receive a $25 Rockport voucher.
For more information on Walk to Work Day and to sign up as a Walking Workplace, visit www.walk.com.auContact details: South Australia - Chris Chalke on 8271 6099; 0418 827 924 or firstname.lastname@example.org