Wellington Times - Monday 27 September 2010

Wellington residents are being urged to put their walking shoes on ahead of National Walk to Work day on October 1.

The Walking Works campaign has been designed to encourage employers to support their employees in adding regular walks to their daily routine, and this week is the last chance for Wellington residents to register.

Wellington Community Health Service promotions officer Karen Lloyd said walking was one of the easiest ways to exercise.

“Walking is great for general health as well as more specific health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity,” Ms Lloyd said.

“Walking is something people should be doing regularly, and if you can walk for at least 30 minutes a day it is

great for your health and your general well-being.”

Ms Lloyd said adding more walking to your day was easy.

“It may be as easy as parking a street away when you do the shopping, just so you have to walk that bit further. Walking is cheap and easy, and you may even save money because you’ll be using less petrol, which means the environment will benefit as well.”

Ms Lloyd encouraged residents to join the newly-formed local walking group.

“Anyone wishing to improve their lifestyle is welcome to come along,” she said.

Pedestrian Council of Australia chair Harold Scruby said Australians needed to catch up with the rest of the world as far as walking was concerned.

“There is overwhelming evidence to prove that employees who are physically active are significantly more productive,” Mr Scruby said.

Wellington businesses can register as ‘walking workplaces’, or individuals can pledge to ‘put their feet first’ as part of the campaign.

Individuals who register go into the draw to win one of two walking holidays in New Zealand or Australia, or a pair of Rockport shoes valued at $200.

Adding walking to your day can be as easy as walking to work, taking the stairs, walking during your lunch break or walking home. Those who find it necessary to drive to work are being encouraged to park further away from work.

For more information regarding the Wellington walking group, contact the Wellington Community Health Centre on 6840 7210.

For more information regarding National Walk to Work Day visit www.walk.com.au.

© Wellington Times