Dream dozen for Walk at Work Award

Twelve organisations have gone the extra mile to create a healthier, more active workforce by achieving our Walk At Work award.

Our Walk at Work Award

Employers including Ayrshire College, Queen Margaret University and NHS Highland have all passed the three sections that make up the award which aims to foster a walking culture in and around the working day.

Since the Walk At Work Award launched just over six months ago, we have also received expressions of interest from 44 other organisations across the country who are all at various stages of gaining the accreditation.

Backed by the Scottish Government, our Walk At Work Award is aimed at workplaces who want to encourage and promote everyday walking within their organisations.

It equips workplaces with the knowledge needed to foster a walking culture, provide the right facilities for employers who walk at work, and take part in walking activities throughout the working day.

Research shows that employees who are more active during their working day are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more focused. 

Wills Bros, a civil engineering company based in Motherwell, got in touch with us to help address poor health and wellbeing in their workplace.

Kieran Doona, health and safety manager said: There was a real appetite amongst our staff at the beginning of 2019 to do more for their health and wellbeing, and walking was an obvious choice as it’s so accessible.

We came across the Walk at Work Award and it was a perfect fit. We read through the participation criteria which was really simple and well explained, and we identified areas we could champion within our own workplace.

The advice from Paths for All was really helpful in getting us set-up, and the registration form only took a couple of minutes to fill out.

Wills Bros recognised the need to get their workplace moving, with working aged adults sitting for an average of nine-and-a-half hours a day, with much of this being in the workplace. Spending long periods of time sitting have been linked with higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and poor mental health; promoting active workplaces can help reverse this trend.

Kieran added: “The modern office environment is highly reliant on sitting at your desk all day staring at a screen with little reason to walk around apart from taking a coffee or bathroom break or getting something from the printer. By working towards the Walk at Work Award, we learned that some staff were already walking on an individual basis but having the conversation brought this to the surface, and created connections between people who were already active, and those that wanted to get active.

“We spend a huge amount of our time at work and leading a largely sedentary lifestyle at a desk limits the opportunity for physical activity. Even taking a short walk is known to improve digestion, reduce cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and improves mood. Fitting in a walk during the working day provides a much-needed opportunity to clear your head and focus on something besides work, computer screens, social media, and mobile phones.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Walk At Work Award can visit www.walkatwork.scot or drop us a line at walkatwork@pathsforall.org.uk.

The organisations that have achieved the Walk At Work Award so far are:
Forth Environment Link; Booth Welsh; Queen Margaret University; Ayrshire College – across three campuses; North Ayrshire Council; NHS Highland; The Richmond Fellowship Scotland; Shetland Charitable Trust; Scottish Ambulance Services Northern Division, and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority