Next Step at University

Our Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Francesca Marzullo, visits campus for one of our pledge events. Walking to achieve improved mental health scores high on students' priorities list.

Francesca Marzullo

Walking is scientifically proven to have physical and mental health benefits. It’s also an effective way to reduce our carbon footprint - by ditching the car and walking our everyday, local journeys instead. But how can we effectively get this message into communities such as universities and inspire the younger generation to start reaping the benefits that the simple act of walking brings?

At Living Streets, our aim is to create effective new ways to engage and encourage people to walk more. Two of our newest offers target workplaces (Walking Works) and universities (Next Steps at University).

We recently visited the University of Chichester to spread the walking message through a fun and colourful pledge event. The whole university community - both students and staff - can benefit enormously from this simple act and who knows, maybe it could have a positive ripple effect into the wider local community as well.

By chatting to some of the students and staff, we found improved mental health to be one of the most desired benefits of walking. Chris West, a student pledged to ‘take a walk at lunchtime while at work, instead of playing with my phone’. Whilst another student committed to ‘take a mindful walk three times a week’.

Pledge event
Walking Works pledge to walk
Student taking a walking pledge

 

 

Discussing some of these issues in more depth with a student, she told us:

Walking really helps with my stress levels. I’m on such an intense course, with assessments coming up all the time, a walk down by the beach really helps me de-stress from everything else and be more productive. Now that I’ve taken the pledge, I have no excuse!

Amy-Sue Johnson, Student - Musical Theatre
Next Step at University

 

 

Students walking

Our university offer focuses exactly on tackling these issues. Through our resources, specifically designed to target the needs of students, we aim to empower them to understand how fitting more walking into their day to day routines can improve their life.
The staff also hope that by creating a walking community at the university, they will witness wider community change as well. Already when walking in they see students socialising with local people, even if just saying ‘hi’ to someone on the street.

At Living Streets, we believe that walking is a powerful tool for positive social change. We look forward to witnessing more and more students and staff, taking to the streets on foot - on their way to/from university and beyond!

What you can do