Argyll and Bute businesses called on to get active

Pictured Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn, Ian Findlay, Chief Officer at Paths for All and Lesley Glen, ICAS’s Chief Operating Officer Press release - 15 November, 2018 For Immediate Release Walking charity launches new award to get Scotland’s workforce moving Walk at Work Award aims to reverse the trend of inactive workplaces A Scottish charity, today (15th), has launched a new accreditation that aims to reverse the trend of inactive workplaces. Paths for All has created the Walk at Work Award to reward employers across the country who are encouraging everyday walking in their workplace. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS) is among the first to sign up to the Walk at Work Award, which was launched in the capital by the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn. With the average working-age adult sitting for 9.5 hours a day, the charity will not just recognise employers who promote everyday walking, but will also offer guidance to those who want their workforce to become more active. Active meetings, lunchtime walks, standing desks and promoting ways to get to work on foot will all count towards the award. By signing up for the award, employers will receive one-to-one support on how to create a walking culture at work as well as examples of best practice and where to find extra help and resources. Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn said: “When people commute, particularly those who work in offices or who travel by car, they tend to be more inactive. This award will reward employers who encourage regular walks, breaks from the desk and activity during the working day. It will also offer support to businesses who are interested in helping their staff become more active but perhaps don’t know where to start. “I’d encourage employers to look at what they can do to foster a walking culture and register for the Walk at Work Award.” Ian Findlay, Chief Officer at Paths for All, said: “Walking is one of the simplest and best things we can do for our physical and mental health. It’s free, you don’t need any special equipment, and it can be easily incorporated into the average working day. “Research shows that employees who are physically active in and around the working day take fewer sick days, are more motivated and productive, and are more able to concentrate, so walking is not just good for us, it’s good for business. “Many adults sit for long periods of time while at work, so workplaces must take action to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve health and wellbeing. “This award will not only reward workplaces that are creating a walking culture for their staff, it will also increase and encourage a variety of different walking opportunities and activities during the day. “Working alongside partners such as Cycle Scotland who offer the Cycle Friendly Employer Award, and having received endorsement from Healthy Working Lives, this new award is part of a suite of awards available to help create a healthier, more active workforce.” As regular participants in the Step Count Challenge - Paths for All’s biannual workplace online challenge - ICAS in Edinburgh was keen to sign up to the Walk at Work Award. Lesley Glen, ICAS’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “At ICAS we have created a strong walking culture and are boosting our wellbeing with lots of healthy activities, from taking part in the Step Count Challenge to sharing pedometers and staying active through the day with the option of standing desks. “We’re delighted that the Walk at Work Award will allow us to celebrate our walking initiatives and the fantastic impact these have on the physical and mental health of ICAS colleagues.” Recent findings from UK workplaces reveal that half of all employees experience poor mental health at work, including stress, anxiety and depression. Regular walking can reduce the effects of poor mental health, particularly walking in greenspace. Physical activity can also combat against the risk of type 2 diabetes, some cancers and stroke. For more information, or to register for the Walk at Work Award, visit www.walkatwork.scot, email walkatwork@pathsforall.org.uk or call 01259 218888. ENDS Caption: Jamie Hepburn joins Ian Findlay, Chief Officer at Paths for All, and Lesley Glen, Chief Operating Officer at ICAS, to launch the Walk at Work Award. For further information, contact Deborah Fox, communications and marketing officer at Paths for All on 07590 350391. Notes to Editors: About Paths for All Paths for All is Scotland’s national walking charity. We are a partnership of organisations committed to promoting walking for health and the development of multi-use path networks in Scotland. We champion walking in Scotland for everyone, every day and everywhere. Our aim is to significantly increase the number of people who choose to walk in Scotland - whether that's leisure walking or active-choice walking to work, school or shops. We want to create a happier, healthier Scotland, where increased physical activity improves quality of life and wellbeing for all. We work to create more opportunities and better environments not just for walking, but also for cycling and other activities, to help make Scotland a more active, more prosperous, greener country. Paths for All is supported by the Scottish Government to promote physical activity and walking for health in Scotland and is a key delivery partner for the Scottish Government’s National Walking Strategy and the Active Scotland Outcomes Framework. About the Walk at Work Award The award aims to equip workplaces with the knowledge they need to foster a walking culture, provide the right facilities for employees who walk to work, and support initiatives such as active meetings and lunchtime walks. Taking part is free and open to any Scottish workplace, whether public, private or third sector, that wants to promote everyday walking. Workplaces that register for the award will receive one-to-one support as well as examples of best practice, resources and signposting to other sources of information. The Walk at Work Award sits alongside and complements Cycling Scotland’s Cycle Friendly Employer Award. Employees who have gained or who are in the process of gaining the Cycle Friendly Employer Award can cite the achievement as part of their submission for the Walk at Work Award. The Walk at Work Award will also be recognised as a contribution towards a Healthy Working Lives accreditation, and vice versa. Businesses that receive the award will show they are committed to their employees’ health and wellbeing and will have an additional employee benefit to attract and retain motivated staff. Businesses that encourage staff to walk to work for all or part of their journey can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and reduce congestion and emissions in their area. The Walk at Work Award is supported by the Scottish Government. Visit www.walkatwork.scot or follow us on Twitter using #WalkatWork About ICAS ICAS is a professional body for more than 21,000 world class business men and women who work in the UK and in more than 100 countries around the world. Members have all achieved the internationally recognised and respected CA qualification (Chartered Accountant). ICAS is an educator, examiner, regulator and thought leader. Almost two thirds of ICAS' working membership are in business; many leading some of the UK's and the world's great companies. The others work in accountancy practices ranging from the Big Four in The City to the small practitioner in rural areas.

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Scotland’s walking charity is calling on businesses in Argyll and Bute to sign up to its new accreditation that aims to reverse the trend of inactive workplaces.

Paths for All has created the Walk at Work Award to reward employers across the country who are encouraging walking in their workplace.

With the average working-age adult sitting for 9.5 hours a day, the charity will not just recognise employers who promote everyday walking, but will offer guidance to those who want their workforce to become more active.

Active meetings, lunchtime walks, standing desks and promoting ways to get to work on foot will all count towards the award.

By signing up for the award, employers will receive one-to-one support on how to create a walking culture at work as well as examples of best practice and where to find extra help and resources.

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said: ‘When people commute, particularly those who work in offices or who travel by car, they tend to be more inactive. This award will reward employers who encourage regular walks, breaks from the desk and activity during the working day.

‘It will also offer support to businesses who are interested in helping their staff become more active but perhaps don’t know where to start.

‘I’d encourage employers to look at what they can do to foster a walking culture and register for the Walk at Work Award.’

Ian Findlay, chief officer at Paths for All, said: ‘Walking is one of the simplest and best things we can do for our physical and mental health. It’s free, you don’t need any special equipment, and it can be easily incorporated into the average working day.

‘This award will not only reward workplaces that are creating a walking culture for their staff, it will also increase and encourage a variety of different walking opportunities and activities during the day.’

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS) is among the first businesses to sign up to the Walk at Work Award.

For more information, or to register for the Walk at Work Award, visit www.walkatwork.scot, email walkatwork@pathsforall.org.uk or call 01259 218888.