Living Streets has been working with Ricardo, a global engineering business with a site on the south coast in West Sussex, to help embed a culture of walking in their organisation.

With lockdown resulting in many businesses changing the way they work, Janey Bray, our Project Coordinator, has been back in touch with them to find out how they’re getting on #walkingfromhome

Janey Bray
beach walk
Photo: Sophie Hansford, Ricardo employee, has been enjoying the views whilst #walkingfromhome

In addition to the uncertainty over the spread of coronavirus, the disease is also generating stress in individuals and communities who are feeling the effects on their mental health. Although there are strict guidelines about social distancing, being able to go out for a walk and getting some fresh air is as important now as ever.

Ricardo is one organisation continuing to support their staff to stay active, spurring them on with a weekly wellbeing email with tips, tools, webinars and podcasts to support their mental and physical health during this unprecedented time.

The business has also been encouraging their staff to stick to their walking pledges and take a daily walk as a way to help break up the working/non-working elements of their day, and avoid the ‘always on’ culture that can encroach when you work from home.

We encourage staff to go out for a walk before the start of their working day, during their lunch break or at the end of their busy day. Going for a walk before starting work helps to feel like you have ‘mentally’ arrived at work and similarly, a walk at the end of the day helps you leave your work mindset behind and switch off.

Ricardo management

“We have seen how lots of communities have come together to support the NHS, so it’s important to do our part and avoid storing up health problems for ourselves and the NHS in the future by being inactive”, they said when I spoke to them.

On top of that, the business is aware that working life has changed for many of their staff who now face juggling childcare and home schooling with work. A walk once a day provides an opportunity for them to unwind, reflect and get some fresh air. And for those who used to walk or cycle as part of their commute, they’ve found getting out before or after the working day a good way to keep their activity levels up.

The Ricardo staff I spoke to said they felt de-stressed, revitalised, calm and happy after they’d been for a walk. Lots of them have been appreciating the outdoors and their local area in new ways, discovering new walking routes and green spaces.

When I asked staff what elements of their lockdown working arrangements they would like to keep, regular walking was on their list. I'm going to be doing my best to make sure that's a reality. 

We have a walking map ready to go for Ricardo employees when we're back. I'm hopeful that a led walk along the River Adur in Shoreham-by-sea will help them keep their walking habits up. 

I can’t wait until I’m back taking those steps with them. For now, I’m thrilled we’re all still walking together – virtually of course. 

River at low tide



Sights from along the walking map route, which Janey looks forward to enjoying with Ricardo employees soon.

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#WalkingFromHome: John Dales

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Coronavirus - walking the right way

UK lockdown rules still allow for us to leave the house once a day for exercise.