Why Walking? Printable PDF
Best Foot Forward
The Health Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
Societal Benefits of Walking


Walking is the most commonly taken exercise in the UK, with around 8/10 journeys under a mile being made on foot. Brisk walking is the perfect way to help you meet the current activity recommendations.

In health terms it’s been described as the perfect exercise and that probably rings true in broader societal terms as well. Its potential impact for health has seen the establishment of the national Walking for Health Initiative.

The scheme supported by the British Heart Foundation and the Countryside Agency, was funded by the New Opportunities Fund and sought to establish a series of walking schemes and walk leader volunteers to encourage more walking for health benefits.

Many other agencies, such as the Pedestrians Association and the Ramblers, are also working to promote more access to walking opportunities for a variety of health, social and environmental reasons.

However, a lot of the initial promotional work has been aimed at walking within parks, green spaces or in rural areas and whilst this creates nice settings and promotes tourism it does not fully address the needs of the urban dweller in achieving the current adult activity recommendations for health benefit.

More importantly those most in need in health terms tend to be those who least access rural activities and tackling health inequalities are now recognised as a priority agenda.

With its local focus Urbanwalks offers an opportunity to support work on health inequalities; a central focus and priority of partnership work across many health and local authorities.