National Walking Month – fares announcement

National charity Living Streets has announced the walking fares rise for May’s National Walking Month.

During May 2013, the cost of walking to work, school or to visit friends will rise from 0.0 per cent to 0.0 per cent.

This represents a rise of 0.0 per cent over last year’s National Walking Month and means walking remains the cheapest, simplest and one of the most effective forms of exercise.

National Walking Month is a month dedicated to highlighting the benefits of walking, and includes Walk to Work Week (May 13-17) and Walk to School Week (May 20-24).

In National Walking Month 2012, the UK public collectively logged 128,271 miles – that’s 146.76 times between Land’s End and John O’Groats.

Workplaces logged 70,000 miles during Walk to Work Week alone!

Walking for just half an hour each morning can transform your fitness levels, reduce stress, and vastly improve your concentration levels for the day ahead.

But we’re not all enjoying the benefits. National Travel Survey results published in December 2012 showed a 24 per cent decline in the number of walking trips per person since the mid-90s.

This trend is being passed on to our children. Over the past couple of decades, the number of children walking to school has fallen sharply.

In 2011, 49 per cent of primary school aged children and 38 per cent of secondary school aged children walked to school, down from 62 per cent of primary and 48 per cent of secondary school aged children in 1991.

As well as the escalating financial cost, physical inactivity now rivals smoking as a leading risk factor for global mortality.

The charity wants to turn this around in May, and encourage people to walk more by tracking their walks to school, on the commute to work, or even taking the dog for a walk round the park.

Registration for National Walking Month opens from April 1 on

Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Living Streets, said: “This May, we want to get the whole of the UK buying a ticket to stride. As part of National Walking Month we’ll be asking employees and school children to give walking a go for at least a week.

“It can be as simple as walking all or part of the journey to school, stepping out of the office for a lunchtime walk, or getting off the bus a few stops earlier on your way home from the office.

“You don’t need costly gym sessions, or marathon running attempts to get fit and active.

“Walking is a free and easy way to work more exercise into your daily routine, and logging your walks on this National Walking Month is a great way to get started. ”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 14) Echo.