We all know hopping in the car to get somewhere, even just around the corner, is part and parcel of daily routine. But Buckinghamshire Council is urging people to follow a really simple premise – where possible, ‘Take a walk, not the car’.
It’s all part of the Council’s new Active Communities health initiative. It might feel a bit obvious, but choosing to drive instead of walk means you’re sitting down for longer, especially if you spend time stuck in traffic before then sitting down at a desk in front of a screen all day.
Research has shown that sitting down for prolonged periods of time has detrimental effects on our long-term health and this is something we are keen to tackle. This is why we are encouraging residents in parts of Buckinghamshire to sit less and move more.
The new ‘Take a walk, not the car’ campaign is part of an initiative created to give everyone the chance to add a little activity to their daily routine. For the next few weeks, the focus is on the way we can limit our use of every kind of transport. For example:
- For regular use, try to leave the car at home at least once a week.
- If you have to use the car, park it further away (different street, furthest spot in the car park) and walk the extra distance.
- If taking a bus, get on or off a stop later than usual.
- Try to actively travel in other ways – walking, cycling or scooting.
- Reduce the use of a buggy for the very young encouraging them to walk or toddle.
- Take a walk, take a friend. Find someone to walk with to make the journey more enjoyable.
- Don’t use lifts or escalators – take the stairs instead!
Even if you cannot do this every day, making the occasional change can add less sitting and more moving to our daily routine to improve more than our own health; reducing our use of transport will benefit our environment, too. Protecting health and well-being across Bucks is a key priority for the Council, especially when health has been thrown under such sharp focus through the Covid pandemic.
Carl Jackson, Buckinghamshire Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing (Public Health), said:
“The ‘Take a walk, not the car’ scheme is the next step in our exciting Active Communities pilot to encourage people to look at their daily routines and see how they can add just a little more activity every day. Over time these simple acts of sitting less and standing and moving more can become part of our usual behaviour, so benefiting both our physical and mental health and well-being.”
To find out more about the Active Communities initiative and how to participate, visit: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/activecommunities