Walking has been likened to an indicator species, signifying the health and wellbeing of a nation. This decline in walking levels is an early warning sign of systemic trouble. Increasing how much we walk is the obvious answer to so many of our big challenges: it’s the best mode of transport in modern cities, it removes congestion and pollution. It makes us healthier.

Walking is a fundamental part of our human lives, but it’s being sidelined. We’ve engineered walking out of our daily lives and in its place we’ve created huge problems.

As walking decreases problems like obesity pollution and crime increase

That’s why we’re creating a walking nation. Putting walking first isn’t always easy, but it can be done. We’ve done it with great results already, and it’s being done now in more than a few cities, around the globe and in the UK.

It’s not too late to turn things around. Our ambition is to encourage people of all generations to enjoy the benefits that this simple act brings and to ensure all our streets are fit for walking.

We can engineer walking back into our lives.

So let’s walk forward together. Let’s start a movement about movement.

And every time we leave the house, let’s take conscious steps towards making our walking nation a reality.

Progress starts here: one street, one school, one step at a time. 

Walking brings our streets alive, and a town or area that's good for walking is good for local shops and businesses.

Small steps = big outcomes

For more than 85 years we’ve been a beacon for walking. In our early days our campaigning led to the first zebra crossings and speed limits. Now our campaigns and local projects deliver real change to overcome barriers to walking.

The little things really do matter. A planter here, a drop kerb there. A new zebra crossing or a cleaned up street. A walking group or little nudge to get going. The reality is these small changes in a community mean a welcoming, accessible environment for everyone living in them. Not to mention a happier, healthier population.

Suddenly, you can see how all these small steps might start to add up.

That is how we’ll create our walking nation.

One step at a time.

It’s the small things we do that add up to make a real, lasting difference to peoples’ lives.

Crowd walking in Leicester Square

Three steps to a brighter future

Health and wellbeing

Transport and environment

Local and national economy

Sedentary lifestyles are the greatest risk to today’s generation. Inactivity costs the UK economy £20 billion every year. Walking just 30 minutes five times a week can help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Encouraging people to walk journeys of under two miles would significantly reduce carbon emissions, congestion and improve air quality.

Walking initiatives boost local economies and bring high streets to life. People want to live in places designed with everyone in mind, not just cars.

Together we can walk our way to a brighter future for generations to come.

One prescription for life

People who walk regularly swear by the health and psychological benefits of their daily stroll. And according to research, they’re right. Walking makes us healthy and just 30 minutes five times a week can help reduce the risk of preventable illnesses such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Walking is good for you. The truth is walking can be easy too: you only need a good pair of shoes. Short ten-minute walks are a good start and much better than nothing. You can begin slowly and build up. It’s never too late. Take a look at our tips to get inspired. 

Read our reports on why walking is so important