Thursday, 22 April 2010

Power walk your way to health

National Walk to Work Week starts on Monday, 26 April and will be launched in Leeds with a ‘Footprint Power Walk’ around Leeds city centre.

Joint leader of the council, Councillor Richard Brett, will help to launch the campaign by taking part in the power walk. He will be joined by senior representatives from the UTravelActive partnership, who will follow pavement footprints around the short course to promote walking to the wider community.

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Councillor Richard Brett, joint leader of the council, and key representatives from the UTravelActivepartnership attend the launch of the national Walk to Work Campaign on Monday, 26 April, 9.30am outside the Henry Moore Building, Victoria Gardens, Headrow, Leeds. They are available for photographs and to talk about the Walk to Work campaign before they take part in a 10 minute power walk in the city centre.
Please contact the council press office on 0113 395 1578 to arrange attendance.

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Employers across the city are being encouraged to sign up to the Walk to Work Week challenge, which will run through the week. Organised by the charity Walking Streets, employees are invited to complete a number of walking challenges, as teams or individuals, and log their progress on a special website at www.walkingworks.org. The challenges include strolling part of the way to work, going for a walk at lunchtimes, and holding walking meetings. The council are promoting this to their own staff and will offer prizes for the best photographs of walking activities and for the most kilometres covered by a team or individual.

Councillor Richard Brett, joint leader of the council said:
“Leading a healthy and active lifestyle can be of real benefit to us, and incorporating walking into our everyday lives is a great way to achieve this. There is no easier or better way to get fit and keep fit than by simply doing more walking.

“16.5% of all journeys to work in Leeds are under two miles in length, so many more of us could make these journeys on foot. Even if you live too far away to walk the whole distance, simply getting off the bus a few stops early, or walking to meetings instead of driving, can make a difference to congestion, air quality and improve your health.”

The council can offer information and advice about walking and other healthy travel options for getting to and from work, and have teamed up with the walking journey planner experts www.walkit.com to help find the best routes around the city. This free website provides a map and directions showing the most direct or traffic-free route between any two places in the city, plus information on time, distance and calories burnt. The site now has a ‘circular route’ option which can suggest walks with the same starting and ending point, and a gradient profile to show any steep paths on the route.

ENDS
Additional info

The UTravelActive Project aims to promote walking and cycling among students, staff and local communities. It is funded by the BIG lottery and partners are Leeds City Council, University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds University Union, Leeds Met Students’ Union, Sustrans, NHS Leeds,Trinity and Leeds Teaching Hospital. The Footprint Power Walk marks the start of UTravelActive’s Love Walking, Love Cycling campaign at University of Leeds, Leeds Met and Leeds Trinity.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk