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20th April 2016
Popular TV personality and avid walker, Carol Vorderman has kick-started a nationwide campaign to get UK workers more active in their lunch breaks.
To launch Westfield Health’s ‘Walking Lunch,’ campaign ambassador 55 year old Carol led workers from offices in her home town of Bristol from their desks for a stroll - and even a conga - around the city.
The ‘Walking Lunch’ campaign run by leading provider of health and wellbeing cover Westfield Health, takes place throughout Living Streets National Walking Month in May, and encourages workers to have a short 20 minute walk as part of their day to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
Carol, who tries to walk every day to keep fit and stay in shape, said she is thrilled to be ambassador for the campaign: “I absolutely love walking, it’s my favourite form of exercise. The great thing about walking is you can do it anytime, anywhere, it’s free, you get fresh air, and you don’t need to remember your gym kit. Having a ‘Walking Lunch’ is a great idea as we can all find time for a 20 minute stroll at some point in our day. Walking is fantastic, it’s a lovely pace, you can have a look around and chat with friends while you exercise. I love to walk with a bit of Dolly Parton on as my soundtrack.”
“When I am at home in Bristol, I walk six or seven miles a day, around the Harbourside and up all the little streets to explore new places. I don’t really like gyms, walking is my thing, it keeps me in shape and I notice the difference when I haven’t been for a walk. Having a ‘Walking Lunch’ is such a simple idea and I urge everyone to get walking this May and sign up for the campaign.”
Westfield Health recently carried out a survey of 2000 British employees and has revealed that almost 60% of people spent most of their day sitting down and over half of us walk for less than 20 minutes in total on an average day.
Fiona Lowe, Head of HR Development & Strategy from Westfield Health said: “Westfield Health champions workplace health and well-being and is encouraging employees nationwide to take small steps to make a big difference to lives. Although the health implications of smoking for example are well-documented, the drastic and deadly effects on our health and wellbeing of not taking a break, are not so well publicised.”
“Our survey revealed that the typical working day is pretty sedentary. There is a great deal of evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of obesity but can also cause serious illnesses such as heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. As well as the physical benefits, there are less-tangible rewards. Many people notice their mood improves and enjoy a general sense of well-being. That’s why we are launching this campaign, as a 20 minute walk each day, really can make a huge difference.”
Communications Assistant, Becky Davy, 24 from Montpellier in Bristol said: “Taking 20 minutes on your lunch break to go on a quick walk is so vital for your mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing and can really help ease that feeling of stress you may feel during your working day.”
Legal Secretary, Jessica Kelly, 26, from Eastville in Bristol said: “Usually on my lunch break I sit at my desk, on the computer, looking at the internet. It’s a problem because I am just sitting there for 7, 8, or 9 hours a day, at a computer with no fresh air, and that’s really bad for you. Anyone who says they can’t find the time for a 20 minute walk in their day is lying.”
Sign up for the campaign now by visiting walkinglunch.westfieldhealth.com and you’ll be sent a free ‘Walking Lunch’ Pedometer. During May get walking and enter the number of steps you walk each day on the website. You could win a FitBit watch if you’re the individual who walks the furthest during May, and the team who walks the most steps will win £1000 towards something to improve the health and well-being of their workplace.