How training staff as Walk Leaders with Living Streets can prove an effective way to incorporate the culture of walking in a workplace, boosting mental health and productivity.
Companies are aware of the importance of employee wellbeing and how associated initiatives can reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, improve mental health and make staff feel more committed to the organisation.
With employees spending significant amount of their work lives sitting in front of computers, many people don’t even meet minimum activity requirements.
We believe that walking is an affordable, flexible and effective way to boost employees’ wellbeing.
In addition to physical and mental health benefits such as increased concentration and productivity levels, walking also provides an opportunity to socialise and bond with colleagues.
Living Streets delivered a range of activities to Liverpool Women's hospital as part of a Walking Works outreach project in 2018, including walk advisor sessions, a pledge event and walk leader training.
Liverpool Women’s hospital already had a range of wellbeing initiatives such as a running group, Zumba and Yoga classes.
Kathy, a Medical Education and Site Manager at the hospital, with a keen interest in health and wellbeing, started a walking group to have a fully inclusive wellbeing offer.
With Living Street’s support, she promoted the group through different channels. Her colleague Stephen was a regular member of the group before he undertook a walk leader training through us in September 2018.
This way he was able to formally provide support and ensure walks are organised even when Kathy is not available.
Since its start, the walking group has steadily grown and now regularly sees 15 participants with an age range from 20 to 71.
Feedback from the group includes the positive effect on mental health, increased productivity and stress relief, and members highlight the social side of the initiative.
Kathy mentions how it allows her to speak to colleagues she wouldn’t otherwise have been introduced to, and how the group enjoys discovering interesting places around the hospital they weren’t aware of before.
Kathy and Stephen also set up a WhatsApp group for all members to plan the walks and help the group bond, and to promote additional health and wellbeing activities as well.
Helping individuals incorporate more walking into their daily routines is impactful and really rewarding. We can see how it boosts people's confidence and how they are motivated to stick to their plans.