RE-GAINING CONFIDENCE THROUGH WALKING

Living Streets has many years of experience helping individuals with a history of physical or mental health problems to increase their activity levels with various walking initiatives – based on an empathetic approach, tailored to their needs and personal situation.

With more and more people spending a significant time of their working lives sitting in front of computers, many people don’t even meet minimum activity requirements today. We believe that walking is an affordable, flexible and effective way to boost employees’ wellbeing and improve physical and mental help symptoms.

Our walk advisors provide personal sessions with employees to review their current activity levels and suggest options how to fit more walking into their daily routines. Based on an individual needs and situation, we discuss their requirements and find a solution the individual feels comfortable.

MEETING ONE OF OUR WALK ADVISORS

As part of our work with Citizen’s Advisor Wirral, two Living Streets “Walk Advisors” met with Matilda, a Social Prescriber at Citizen’s Advisor Wirral. Matilda had a history of anxiety and depression and had recently suffered from severe back issues. Although aware of the benefits of walking, she felt nervous embarking on any longer journeys on foot.

At the start of our session we went through a questionnaire with her and discussed answers together. Realising her extreme levels of inactivity, she was keen to discuss strategies how to embed more physical activity into her daily routines. She highlighted that it was important for her to not feel she over-committed or overwhelmed, and to be in control of the amount of activity she was undertaking.

What were the results?

Our Walk Advisors prescribed “park and stride” as a flexible option and suggested “Active 30” – encouraging her to incorporate a total of 30 active minutes into her day.

Matilda started parking her car at the opposite end of the adjacent park and walked the last part of her journey. “I would see squirrels and birds, and the quiet surroundings of the park help me to relax for 10 minutes before going into work”. These low levels of physical activity helped her lose her initial fear and gradually reduced the symptoms of her back pain.

She eventually started parking further away and managed to walk faster, mindful of hitting her “Active 30”. The regular walks helped Matilda to become physically stronger and built her confidence navigating her way around. “I never used to hit 7,000 steps per day, nowhere close! But now I frequently smash this target. I feel with every step I take, I am achieving goals, my confidence is growing, and my back is getting stronger”.

Citizens Advice Wirral

I never used to hit 7,000 steps per day, nowhere close! But now I frequently smash this target. I feel with every step I take, I am achieving goals, my confidence is growing, and my back is getting stronger.

Matilda Jones, Social Prescriber, Citizen’s Advisor Wirral