“It really helps to leave your desk, even if for a short while. It really clears your head and makes you that much more productive in the afternoon.” Lorraine, walker on Exeter University’s lunchtime walking group.
The Big Devon March is a Devon-wide walking campaign being run by Active Devon on behalf of Devon County Council, with funding awarded by the Department for Transport’s Sustainable Travel Transition Fund. It is specifically designed to help employers to take their first steps to getting everyone in their office more active in simple, achievable and free ways.
Walking has a fantastic range of benefits; mental, physical and emotional, which all play an important part in workplace wellbeing. Paul Mouland leads a weekly lunchtime walk around Exeter University’s campus. “It gives staff the opportunity to get away from their desk during lunchtime and what we tend it find is people that do come out on these walks actually find when they go back to their office they are refocused, fresh, they’ve got new ideas on what they’re working on and are really keen to get stuck back into work.”
“We have had a fantastic response to the Big Devon March with a range of organisations on board.” says Scott kendall from Active Devon. “We are hoping the month will act as a catalyst to change the current culture of workplaces and get employees moving more during the working day.”
It’s easy to get involved in the Big Devon March, visit Active Devon’s website www.activedevon.org and follow the Big Devon March link. You will get access to a free online platform ‘The Workplace Challenge’ for logging walking activity. After signing up, from the 1st of March the race will be on to see which workplace can stride to the the top of the leaderboard. Through the Workplace Challenge website you can also track your the total walking miles you’ve clocked up and the CO2 saved when swapping your car journeys for an active commute and that’s got to make every employer sit up and notice! And if that’s not enough, after signing up you will receive regular nudges, tips and incentives to keep you going and there are competitions and prizes throughout the month to keep everyone on their toes.
By signing up to the Big Devon March, you will not only be helping your workplace reach the number one spot but also collectively helping the Big Devon March participants to walk the equivalent of the circumference of the earth during March!
28 Workplace Walking Champions from organisations across Devon have stepped forward to take the lead on inspiring their colleagues to walk more during March. “We want to encourage workplaces to have fun during the Big Devon March and think about what walking initiatives would work in their workplace” say James Bogue from Active Devon. One of the organisations who have pledged their support are South West Water who have some great ideas to get colleagues walking more. This includes a photography competition where employees will try to capture the best photo during their walking commute, to and from work.
The Big Devon March is set to be a great success, and the more workplaces that sign up the better the competition will be! Every week workplaces who have strided to the top of the leaderboard will be announced and celebrated with a great fanfare. Keep an eye out on Active Devon’s social media and let us know how your workplace is walking more using the hashtag #MarchWithUs.
For more information on how your workplace can get involved contact [email protected].