How does National Walk to Work day affect you?

We are all guilty of just “popping down the road” in the car for something, and that something probably could have been walked to rather than driven. In this generation, we all lead such busy lives which means that convenience is of upmost importance when planning our daily lives. Maybe you drive to work because its too far to walk, or because you don’t have time in your mornings. 

National walk to work day in 2022 is April 1st, of which by this time, all of our new year’s resolutions probably would have faded out by now and we are falling back into old habits. Therefore, why not try a new resolution – even just for a month, and walk to work? If you live close to your workplace, small journeys in your car actually use more petrol than travelling longer distances because the car doesn’t get time to warm up properly and therefore, uses more fuel and isn’t as efficient. As someone that uses their car a lot, I take any opportunity to save some fuel. Although you might have to leave a few minutes earlier in order to walk to work, when you take into account the time you sit in the car waiting for the windows to defrost and the car to warm up in the winter, or the time you take to cool it down inside in the summer so you don’t have sweat patches by the time you get to work, you’re probably saving a couple of minutes by walking! 

Walking also offers multiple benefits:

·         Fitness – if you work long hours, have a demanding social life or young children that require you to be around, you might not have time to go to the gym, for a run or work out. Therefore, walking to work is a great form of cardio that requires no stress to the joints, doesn’t deplete your energy for the day and doesn’t leave you sweating before you’ve even gotten to work. 
·         Mental wellbeing – exercise is proven to help our mental health by causing chemical changes in the brain such as endorphins which charges a positive mood. Therefore, if you struggle with bad moods while at work or simply finding yourself waking up feeling dull & negative, walking to work might help pop a smile back onto your face!
·         Extra time to organize – rather than using your concentration on driving, while walking to work, you may find yourself remembering things you’d forgotten. The extra time with yourself might help you figure out what you’re going to do on that particular day at work, remind you to make that phone call or even remind you to send that text to your friend about going out for a drink. Either way, having some extra thinking time away from the office and the atmosphere might be exactly what you need to set your head straight ready for your work day to begin.
·         Lower stress levels – research has found that those who went from driving to walking, cycling or taking public transport for work experienced reduced stress levels and increased concentration to the things they needed to dedicate their time to. 

As well as health and wellbeing benefits, there are also many environmental benefits of walking to work. With global warming and climate change being huge increasing concerns at the moment, the planet is calling everyone to do their bit in helping it stay sustainable for life as we know it. 

·         In 2021, the Times newspaper reported that transport is responsible for 26% of greenhouse pollution. Therefore, research shows that by making a choice to walk short journeys, have huge advantages for the environment over the course of a year. 
·         A quieter environment would be produced if more people decided to take up walking to work, rather than driving. In surveys, many people wrote that they dislike the noise of cars & the traffic they cause in urban areas. They also wrote that it effected their sleep and activities such as reading.