Scotland’s national walking charity Paths for All is calling on employers across Scotland to take steps to improve the health of their workforce.
The charity has created the Walk at Work Award which recognises workplaces that foster a culture of everyday walking in and around the working day.
Active meetings, lunchtime walks, standing desks and promoting ways to get to work on foot all count towards the award.
With the average working-age adults sitting for 9.5 hours a day, Paths for All is aiming to reverse the trend of inactive workplaces and celebrate employers who are getting their staff moving.
Ian Findlay, Chief Officer at Paths for All said: “Walking is one of the simplest and best things we can do for our physical, social and mental health. It’s free, you don’t need any special equipment, and it can be easily incorporated into the day.
“Research shows us that employees who are physically active in and around the working day take fewer sick days, are more motivated and productive, and are more able to concentrate, so walking is not just good for us, it’s good for business.
“Many adults sit for long periods of time while at work, so workplaces must take action to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve health and wellbeing.”
Spending long periods of time sitting has been linked with higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and poor mental health.
Regular walking, especially in greenspaces, can reduce stress, improved mental wellbeing, lower blood pressure and help employees manage their weight.
Businesses that encourage staff to walk to work can also significantly reduce their carbon footprint and reduce congestion and emissions.
Ian added: “Working alongside partners such as Cycling Scotland who offer the Cycle Friendly Employer Award, and receiving endorsement from Healthy Working Lives, this new award is part of a suite of awards available to help create a healthier, more active workforce.”
Paths for All offer one-to-one support for workplaces who sign up to take part in the free Walk at Work Award.
Following registration, the charity will arrange an initial meeting to discuss the award and develop an action plan.
Registered workplaces will also receive a copy of the Walk at Work Award handbook, which details the benefits of walking for employees and businesses, frequently-asked questions and other sources of information and support.
Templates for staff travel surveys, Walking Champion role descriptions, infographics and posters are also available to workplaces taking part in the award.
The Walk at Work Award is supported by the Scottish Government.
For more information, visit www.walkatwork.scot or the Paths for All website.