Cambridge Labour Parliamentary Candidate Daniel Zeichner is backing the National Walk to Work Week starting next Monday – and will be monitoring his progress with a Living Streets pedometer. Mr Zeichner says that the often sterile debate in Cambridge about cyclists versus motorists means that the needs of pedestrians are too often overlooked:
“I drive, I take the bus, I ride a bike and I use the train – but most of all, I walk. My grandfather was a race-walker who used to walk from Shepreth to North London to visit his parents at weekends! There are powerful voices in Cambridge for cyclists and for motorists, but it is time for the voice of the overwhelming majority who are pedestrians to be heard. Cambridge isn’t particularly pedestrian-friendly – there is too little seating in public spaces, and some is in poor repair. It is often unclear who is entitled to go where and when in some of the colleges. I hope people will respond positively to National Walk to Work Week as we build pressure to make Cambridge a better place for pedestrians.”
Walk to Work Week (13-17 May) is an opportunity for employees across the UK to make walking part of their commute. Along with Walk to School Week (20-24 May), Walk to Work Week forms a part of National Walking Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the benefits of walking.
Participants can log their walks on the Living Streets website, www.livingstreets.org.uk, and see calories burnt, CO2 saved and compete against colleagues.
Walking for just half an hour each day can transform your fitness levels, reduce stress, and vastly improve your concentration levels for the day ahead. Physically active employees are also less likely to suffer from major health problems, less likely to take sickness leave and less likely to have an accident at work.
But we’re not all enjoying the benefits. National Travel Survey results published in December 2012 showed a 24% decline in the number of walking trips per person since the mid-90s. Physical inactivity now rivals smoking as a leading risk factor for global mortality.