Active Travel in your organisation

Man and woman walking outside their offices

Being physically active is vital for our heart health and guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. 

For many, getting to an exercise class or going to the gym can be expensive and intimidating. Making people more aware of the small changes they can make in order to improve their health can go a long way to helping staff be more active. 

What is active travel?

Active travel is the means of increasing the amount of physical activity you do by switching part or your entire journey to activity (commonly walking, running or cycling). This can sound daunting but small changes can make a big difference. Getting off the bus a stop early or walking to shops for lunch can be easily integrated into a daily routine. 

What can workplaces do?

Active travel can be incorporated into any organisations’ health and wellbeing programme with consistent messaging, tips and ideas for staff, subsidised equipment and policies encouraging active travel.

  1. Promotion is key – run a talk on active travel and offer information via your intranet or a health awareness day. Make sure that people know what active travel is and the potential benefits.
  2. Give your staff helpful tips – tailor your advice to your workplace environment. If you have a car park, suggest parking further away to get those extra steps in or provide alternative transport routes, on the bus, walking or cycling.
  3. Lead by example – make sure that you communicate the successes of management and your own team. Whether it’s in an email to all staff or a video, this will be a powerful incentive for staff to get involved in initiatives.
  4. Try a challenge – a competition is a good way of getting people involved that might not usually do so. Our challenges are available to download on our website but it could be something smaller; a prize for a member of staff who has made the biggest change to their lifestyle.
  5. Plan it in where possible – if you’re having an away day or external meeting, plan to use active travel to get about. Think about using a local venue where staff can walk to the location.
  6. Put support in place – make sure that your programme is sustainable by putting policies in place to maintain the good work. You can incorporate active travel messages into health and wellbeing policies and Cycle to Work schemes.

You can find some helpful research and considerations for active travel in Moving Toward Active Transportation: How Policies Can Encourage Walking and Bicycling, a research review conducted by Active Living Research.

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