This month has been National Walking Month, an annual campaign run by Living Streets to encourage people to walk. During the month Walk To Work Week fell on 11-15 May, and Walk To School Week on 18-22 May.
At GeoVation we have been keen to encourage active lifestyles and in November 2013, we ran our Active Lifestyles challenge — ‘How can we enable active lifestyles in Britain?’ — and as a result we funded some great ideas to get people active in Britain. One of the winners was Medal Routes, an app created by Ramblers Scotland, which allows you to create and share walking routes, set personal goals, track progress, and interact with other users.
The benefits of walking are many, such as:
1. It lowers the risks of diabetes, stroke, hip fractures, and obesity.
2. Active travel reduces the amount of traffic on the streets, thereby reducing air pollution.
3. Walking is good for your brain. Walks of 40 minutes taken three times a week or more improve memory and planning ability.
4. It improves energy levels and mood and reduces the symptoms of depression.
Myself, I live in a suburb and rely on public transport or carsharing to get to work, and at OS we use Liftshare, one of our GeoVation winners from our Transport Challenge to help encourage people to car share.
However, once at work, I’m fortunate that OS is situated near some beautiful fields and wooded areas, which is where I try to go on my lunch break, and, as a result of always choosing the more intriguing of any two paths, I get lost walking in a circle within a square fifty yards of trees.
This, I maintain, is a great way of working exercise into your life — not to mention stimulating and adventurous.
Other GeoVation winners from our Active Lifestyles challenge, who are still developing their ideas, include: