We’re walking our way to good health
12:40pm Wednesday 22nd May 2013 in News
By Tarik Al Rasheed
HEALTHY: People walking to work. Picture by John Anyon. BUY PHOTO: worcesternews.co.uk/pictures/sales. 2113318201
MORE people walk to work in Worcester than anywhere else in the West Midlands, new research has revealed.
More than 15 per cent of workers in the city are putting their best feet forward and enjoying a stroll to the office, rather than driving, cycling, or using public transport, compared to the regional average of just 9.9 per cent and the national rate of 10.7 per cent.
Research carried out by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) shows that 7,397 of the 50,101 (15.8 per cent) workers in Worcester travel on foot.
Hereford is the next highest performer in the West Midlands, at 14.6 per cent, but the Malvern Hills district is down at 18th in the regional list, with just 3,074 out of a total of 34,361 workers (8.9 per cent) commuting on foot.
Helena Johnson, chairman of the CSP, said the benefits of walking to work were numerous. “Walking is free and good for your health so it’s understandable that more people are doing it to get to work,” she said.
“Clearly some people need to use alternative modes of transport, but even then there are easy ways to build exercise into that journey – park further away from the office or get off the bus a stop early, for instance.”
Nationally, more than 2.8 million people now walk to work everyday, an increase of nine per cent over the last decade. The City of London, the Isles of Scilly and Norwich are the top three places for people commuting on foot. East Dorset, Bexley and South Staffordshire – where the figure is just 5.7 per cent – are the places with the smallest proportion of people walking to work.
Mrs Johnson said: “Britain is facing an obesity crisis that is fuelled by inactivity. “It is essential for the health of the nation that people find time to exercise and hopefully these statistics are an encouraging sign.”
12:53pm Wed 22 May 13
This is excellent news.
Active travel (walking and cycling) can have major health benefits and particularly in helping tackle the ‘obesity’ time bomb that Worcestershire faces.
I do hope the County Council with its new Public Health responsibilities and budgets will take a good hard look at how it can encourage even more Worcester residents to travel to work on foot or by bike.
1:08pm Wed 22 May 13
It’s not for health reasons…….the buses are too **** expensive!
1:33pm Wed 22 May 13
I’ve just had a look at the 2011 census for Worcester.
This showed 10.8% walked and 2.9% cycled to work. Surprisingly only 3.1% caught the bus.
With so many people complaining about traffic congestion in the City wouldn’t it be great if we could entice more not to ‘automatically’ jump in the car for those shorter journeys.
The same applies for the school run. In surveys 80% plus of children say they would prefer to walk or cycle to school, but parents are worried about the dangerous roads they’d have to use.
65% of car journeys are less than 5 miles.
I’m not anti-car, a rampant communist or environmentalist as some on this website have tried to sterotype me as. Indeed I use the car myself for longer journeys or the main weekly shop, but if we could make our streets safer for walking and cycling everyone benefits.
Those that walk/cycle save pounds and £s, get fitter, lose weight and are less of a strain on our overloaded NHS.
For those that want to drive there’s less congestion on the roads and more parking space when you get there.
Air and noise pollution decreases so we all have more pleasant and healthier areas to live in.
With more pedestrians and cyclists on the streets crime and anti-social behaviour reduces.
I do hope the new administrations at the City and County Councils will take a serious look at the considerable benefits of making it easier and safer for people to leave the car at home for some of those shorter journeys.
1:49pm Wed 22 May 13
It’s not for health reasons…….the buses are too **** expensive![/p][/quote]What better incentive to walk/cycle than saving money.
Even better if it makes you healthier at the same time.
It also means those that do don’t get in as much debt and may have more disposable income to spend locally thereby helping to boost the local economy and sustain or create more jobs.
I’m always amazed at how many people pay for gym memberships they never use when they could so easily save themselves a packet by building walking and cycling into their daily lifestyle.
There’s also strong evidence that those who walk and particularly cycle to work take on average one day less sick leave and are more productive when at work. Add to this the fact they don’t need an expensive parking space when they get to work and I’m surprised more employers don’t do more to encourage/incentivis
e their employees to leave their cars at home.
With our reliance on oil/petrol imports it also helps with our national balance of payments so the Government can balance the books quicker and reduce the need to cut our services and/or reduce our taxes.
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