Did you know that May is National Walking Month? Getting out and walking more is one of the easiest ways to boost energy levels, squeeze in some exercise, and protect your mental wellbeing by reaping the benefits of being outside.
Let’s just hope the sun stays out for longer than a few hours this May!
Now’s the perfect time for businesses to encourage this healthy habit. In this article, we examine the benefits of walking in more detail and look at what businesses can do to get their staff upping their step count.
It’s time to put your best foot forward!
Need help finding ways to support your staff? Give our friendly award-winning benefits brokers a call on 01273 222805 or drop us an email at [email protected].
- 1 Is National Walking Month as simple as it sounds?
- 2 4 benefits of walking more
- 3 How businesses can help this month
- 4 Bonus tips for beyond the workplace!
- 5 Discover more ways to keep your staff healthy and happy
Is National Walking Month as simple as it sounds?
In short, yes! National Walking Month promotes the importance of getting your body moving by taking small steps in your everyday life. It’s a great opportunity to encourage more walking, both in and out of the workplace, which can massively boost workplace engagement and productivity as well as the wellbeing of your teams.
By marking National Walking Month in the workplace you can:
- Raise awareness of how the simple act of walking can impact health for the better
- Get your business and staff to engage more with the local community and environment
- Explore new and creative ways to encourage healthy habits
4 benefits of walking more
The practice of walking comes with a huge range of benefits to your body, mind, bank account, and business! We’ve broken these down into four easily digestible sections to highlight just how much walking can positively impact your life.
Benefits to your body
Walking is a simple way to keep active and maintain a healthy heart – it’s fun and free, and fitted around your staff’s schedules. Even walking for just 20 minutes every day can lower the risk of heart disease by 30%, according to a study by Harvard Medical School. The same study also revealed that walking can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Of course, walking also helps with weight loss, which in turn can lower the risk of diabetes.
Finally, exposure to sun is the best way of getting Vitamin D and setting your circadian rhythm in the morning which is all very important for a restful night’s sleep
Walking really is the simplest form of cardio exercise. And it’s completely free – there’s no need to sweat it out at the gym!
Benefits to your mind
Even just a short stroll after work is going to lift your spirits. The endorphins released from exercise leads to better motivation, self-esteem, and boosted energy levels – it’s scientifically backed!
Other benefits to your mental wellbeing include:
- More time for yourself where exercise becomes a normal part of your everyday routine – reducing feeling burnt out and thinly stretched.
- Lowered stress levels by getting the blood pumping and taking in fresh air, invigorating body and mind in the process.
- More opportunities to think through problems outside of an office or home office environment – which even for the best of us can lead to foggy thinking and a constricted perspective.
- Increased mindfulness and gratitude for the wider world around us – giving us a perspective beyond the four walls of an office or home environment.
- Improved capability to handle mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks.
Benefits to the environment and community
By ditching the car, we can all save money and benefit the environment! Walking can help:
- People feel more connected to their local community, helping combat any sense of isolation in the process
- Reduce air pollution and road congestion – at least, if everyone does it!
- Boost a sense of community. For example, instead of buying online, why not walk to the local shop and talk to a real, non-AI generated, person!
- Staff save money by avoiding public transport, the cost of exercise classes, petrol – every little bit adds up!
Benefits to the business
Increased walking has a significant impact on business too! And it’s a positive one:
- Improves productivity and the overall wellbeing of the team – this is true of any form of exercise, but walking also provides the added benefit of extra outdoor time and fresh air.
- Increases creativity levels – creative output increases by an average of 60% when walking, according to research Stanford!
- Greater creativity leads to improved problem-solving skills.
How businesses can help this month
To help staff experience the wonderful benefits of walking more this month, there are a few simple things you can do. Here are some examples, which we also adopted for our Fitness Feb walking challenge last year!:
- Taking a walk outside for 1-2-1s and small meetings
- Introducing some friendly in-office competitions with small prizes up for grabs
- Organise a group walk and maybe even raise some money for charity
- Setting goals within the office e.g., reaching 20,000 steps every day or taking a 10-minute stroll each day
- Encourage lunch time walks, or walking to the local coffee shop for a break
- Walking around the office when taking calls
- Using digital platforms and apps to monitor progress and stagger out prizes
Bonus tips for beyond the workplace!
There are plenty of things we can all do outside of the workplace. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Invite family, friends, and colleagues out for a weekend/after work walk for motivation and a catch-up!
- Introduce post-work strolls into your daily routine, even if working from home that day
- Try walking to and from work to save money and avoid public transport
- Save on those small car journeys and walk to the supermarket, into town, the post office or wherever else you might routinely visit
- Create a checklist of local nature spots to explore
- Download podcasts and music to enjoy on the go – instead of inside the home
- Set up personal daily goals and reminders that work specifically for you
Discover more ways to keep your staff healthy and happy
Of all the healthy habits, walking is the probably the easiest one to adopt. So, why not try promoting it this National Walking Month?
We’ve really enjoyed hosting step challenges at Hooray’s offices in the past. It’s only right that we practice what we preach as an employee benefits and health insurance broker!
Of course, there are lots of other ways to aid the health and wellbeing of your teams. Though it may not be as simple as a walk in the park! Whether you’re looking for health insurance, income protection or other forms of health support; we can help you the right policies at the right price.
Enlisting the help from an independent FREE benefits broker like Hooray Health & Protection will make the process much easier.
Our friendly Hooray team are happy to answer any questions and will take the time to listen to your specific needs when it comes to employee benefits and health insurance. We deliver the best quotes available in the UK market, ensuring you receive the best value and the best results.
Contact us at [email protected] or call 01273 222805 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.