National park takes award in its stride

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Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park have been awarded the Walk at Work Award.

The award recognises employers who actively promote walking in the workplace.

The National Park Authority received the Walk at Work award at a team meeting last week, before all staff members went to Balloch Castle Country Park to take part in a Fit for Life walk.

The staff at the national park have always been encouraged to walk at work.

Staff regularly take part in outdoor activities, such as litter pick-ups and walking meetings.

Last year, the organisation took the next step by trialling the Fit for Life scheme, which has had an amazing impact on getting employees out and about during working hours.

The optional scheme allows the chance to take part in a 15-minute walk, run or cycle in the national park during the working day. More than 120 members have joined the scheme so far, and last year they collectively walked for 93,000 minutes.

The national park’s director of corporate services, Jaki Carnegie, is one of the people who helped bring the scheme to life. She said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled and incredibly proud that we have received a Walk at Work award from Paths for All.’

Ms Carnegie added: ‘Our Fit for Life pilot is an innovative and forward thinking way that gives staff time out of their working day to enjoy all the benefits of being in the outdoors., allowing them to come back to the office re-energised after a short burst of exercise.’

Paths for All chief officer Ian Findlay has urged all Scottish workplaces to get involved in the scheme. There are plenty of benefits from taking part .

Mr Findlay said: ‘Research shows that employees who are physically active in and around the working day take fewer sick days. These employees also have higher concentration levels and are more motivated.’