Workers are stepping up to the get-fit challenge as a raft of corporations, organisations and individuals heed the call to register for this year’s Walk to Work Day.

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 pluses associated with reduced fuel consumption.
The event is on 1 October and is completely free. 

Businesses looking for ways to support staff and improve productivity by encouraging regular exercise can register as a Walking Workplace to receive free information on how they can make walking work in their workplace. Individuals who Pledge to Put Their Feet First by walking more regularly will be in the running to win one of two walking holidays thanks to or one of 250 new pairs of Rockport shoes valued at $200 a pair.

Instructions on how to register can be found at the website

PCA Chairman Harold Scruby said people who walk before and during work are healthier, more alert and productive in their jobs, and less likely to take sick leave.

“Walking to work, walking up stairs, walking at lunch time and walking home are all great ways of building more walking into the lives of the workforce,” Mr Scruby said. “Even 15 minutes before and after work each day can significantly enhance productivity and reduce absenteeism. Regular walking helps beat obesity, prevents diseases, improves mental health and enhances general well-being.”

Walk to Work Day is funded  by the Australian Government and supported by all state and local governments, the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council, Planet Ark, Diabetes Australia and beyondblue. 

"We're pleased to support Walk to Work Day because regular exercise can be very effective in helping to prevent depression and even help people to overcome mild depression," beyondblue CEO Leonie Young said.

Cancer Council chief executive officer Professor Ian Olver said physical activity, such as walking, is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

“Being physically active every day, enjoying a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy body weight can lower the risk of cancer," Professor Olver said.

Diabetes Australia's Acting CEO, Greg Johnson, said there is good evidence of the benefits of exercise, especially walking, in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

“For the millions of Australians at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the benefits of walking are significant. Combined with a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight, walking is some of the ‘best medicine’ for both prevention and treatment of diabetes," he said. 

Heart Foundation (Victoria) CEO Kathy Bell said: "At any age, being physically active is good for your health. And the good news is that fitting in just 30 minutes or more of physical activity, such as walking at a good pace, each day or at least most days of the week, can really help to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke."  

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