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Posted May 11 2012 3:05pm

ARTICLE KINDLY WRITTEN FOR THE BLOG BY: Sophie Coleman, volunteer at Living Streets
Avoid the hustle and bustle, hum drum routine of the early commute and get active with walking to work. It really is that simple. Ok, so the recent bad weather may want you to opt for public transport instead and do a quick hop, skip and a jump onto the first bus you see. But with a simple route plan, a touch of time management and a squirt of deodorant (you want to become fit, not unpopular!) your commute to and from work could literally turn from manic into breezy, with just a few easy steps.

You’re probably asking yourself the following questions: ‘Surely, walking will make me late for work?’ or ‘It’s impossible, how can I walk to work if I live too far away to walk?’

To answer your first question, opting to walk over using public transport shouldn’t make you late. Just take a quick moment to think of how many times you’ve had to alter your tube or bus route because of annoying and highly irritating severe delays or cancellations. Think of that bad mood you were put in after the bus or train you had waited for, for over 30 minutes (patiently, yet angrily) never turned up.

Feeling stressed from your commute is easy to combat. You may have had a stressful day at work but instead of rushing to catch that unreliable, stuffy bus or train full of other commuters, why not plug in your ipod, listen to your favourite band and take a walk on the wild side? That ‘stressful day at work’ will soon turn into just ‘another busy day at the office’. And for those of you who are ruling out the possibility of walking due to distance, stop right there! You could easily get off the bus or tube a few stops earlier on your way to or from work. 

With 49% of office workers admitting to eating ‘al desko’ three times a week or more, without so much as a breath of fresh air during their working day, we have to ask ourselves, is half of the working population turning into actual office robots?

Living Streets has the solution, working to highlight and promote walking, whilst also encouraging the ‘office robots’ and ‘desk potatoes’ to get some much needed activity into our daily lives. As part of the Great British Walking Challenge, Walk to Work Week takes place from 14-18 May. Best of all, they’ve covered all of the technical stuff too. Using a clever online tool, you can log your walking miles to work out how many steps you have taken, promoting a bit of healthy banter and competiveness between fellow colleagues, by seeing who has walked the most (or the least).

The best thing about walking is that you can do it at any point during the day. And no, mindless trips to the coffee machine is not a form of walking. You could stretch your legs on your lunch break, volunteer to take the post or instead of walking to said coffee machine which is approximately two steps away from your desk, you could physically go outside and walk to get the coffee (mind blowing, I know!).

So for the benefit of your health and mental well being, give walking to work a go with Living Streets. Say no to stress and bad moods and let your legs do the walking; I guarantee it will make you feel better. Be part of it.

Sophie Coleman, volunteer at Living Streets

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