A scheme offering free weekly guided walks across Sheffield city centre will be running its 50th walk on Wednesday (25 September), helping office workers to leave their desks behind and get on the move at lunchtime.
“Sitting down all day at work can lead to a number of health risks”, says Richard Pilgrim, from South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE) Sustainable Travel team, and one of the scheme’s accredited walk leaders.
“According to a survey by the Get Britain Standing campaign group, the average UK worker sits for 8.9 hours a day, which can lead to cardiovascular health problems, type 2 diabetes, weight gain and mental health problems, among other issues.”
“A walk at lunchtime is a quick and easy way to increase your physical activity without taking too much time out of your working day”, says Richard.
The weekly walks, in and around the city centre, are part of Step Out Sheffield – Walking for Health, the biggest volunteer-led walking for health scheme in the country, which offers 60 weekly options across the city.
Lorna Martin, a Service Information officer who has been taking part in the SYPTE-led walks since last January, says:
“Joining the Wednesday walk has become part of my routine and I’m much fitter for it. I enjoy not having to plan the routes myself, having a led walk means I can see different parts of the city but not have to spend time looking into routes that are achievable in the timeframe – that part is done for me.”
Emily Batty, a Traveline Supervisor, likes to book walking meetings with members of her team. She says: “Getting fresh air means I feel more productive when I get back to my desk and the team feel the same way too. They look forward to their turn and the chance to step away from the phones.”
“In October we’ll celebrate the first anniversary of the scheme, and we look forward to celebrating many more. We have a team of nine fully trained walking leaders, who are there to make sure everyone taking part is comfortable, safe and, most importantly, enjoying themselves”, says Richard.
Weekly walks depart every Wednesday at 12:30pm from SYPTE’s head office at 11 Broad Street West and last 40 to 45 minutes spanning a variety of routes. Booking is not required. Participants should meet at SYPTE’s reception at 12:20pm to register before the walk sets off. For more information visit https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/organisedwalks/