Put your best foot forward.

It's walk to work week.

Which is particularly apt as today the Stroke Association reveals a dramatic increase in the number of working age people being admitted to hospital with strokes and in reaction sustrans calls for an increase in investment in walking and cycling.

A rural life (and office)

One of the joys of living in the 'middle of nowhere' (almost but not really) means you're never short of somewhere beautiful to walk, two minutes from my front door and you're up on the wonderful North York Moors, less for AW who's further out and has the moors literally outside the garden gate.  However, it does mean that to get anywhere requires a very long walk or a vehicle, the nearest small shops are four miles away and over a thousand feet in altitude to climb and descend again.  The CJS office is in the village meaning that I'm out one door and in another and HB is within walking distance (five minutes or longer depending on how many times she's stopped on route!), AW is within the parish but only walks when it's knee deep in snow - sucker for punishment. Everyone else is several miles over the moor and has to deal with that altitude.  Which means that we can't really take part in the walk to work week without adding several hours to our journey times - but that doesn't mean that we're not using our feet.  All of us have highly active lives outside of the office (see Pet month for the reason!) however sitting a computer for up to eight hours at a time is not good for anyone but AW can be particularly statue like and on more than one occasion we've threatened to turn off the electricity to her work station.  A report out in March showing that office workers need to move around more  during the day to prevent health problems really struck home. Walking desks sound lovely but not particularly easy to install.

Alternatives to walking to work

Lunchtime means dog walking, my pack of office dogs are thoroughly enjoying the extra outings, taking it in turns to be 'borrowed' for a stroll, Hebe and AW go for a short run (see, she really is a sucker for punishment!); Dido and Hester prefer a more sensible brisk walk through the village, hoovering up as many dropped sandwiches and ice creams as they can as they go.
Although taking part in walking to work week is not really an option they have some wonderful suggestions for other ways to get active.  See here for suggestions.
We particularly like the idea of a walking meeting, AW & I think we might start doing this as we plan out the next Focus edition(s), as long as it's not windy enough to make our notes into kites or confetti.  Perhaps the office dogs could take notes as we walk - or least retrieve any that do get dropped or blown away! (Details about Walking meetings here)

Here are our top tips for getting up out of that chair:

  1. walk (or cycle) to work
  2. if it is sensible to do so then leave your lunch in the car (not a good idea for perishables!) so you have to go and get it or take a walk and buy it from the shop at the other end of the street not the one next door
  3. stand up when you answer the phone
  4. put in-trays and printers just out of arm's reach - you have to stand up
  5. go and talk to colleagues - don't email them
  6. use a networked printer in another part of the building
  7. And don't forget to walk the dog at lunchtime