- Find your local walk scheme
- Get walking
- Keep walking
- Running health walks
- News & Events
Published: 10th August 2011
Fortunate workers for Derbyshire Dales District Council can enjoy a weekly lunchtime health walk. Soon County Council colleagues will be able to join them.
Howard Griffith recently joined the District Council as Walking for Health Officer for the Derbyshire Dales health walk scheme. He regularly goes along to the Tuesday lunchtime walk, led by work colleague, Susan Devaney, who has trained as a walk leader.
These lunchtime walks from the Town Hall have been going for 2 years. All staff are welcome, the walks are low-key and people find them very helpful. We generally get 8 -10 walkers each week.
Howard Griffith, Walking for Health Officer, Derbyshire Dales District Council
There is plenty of green space in and around Matlock and Susan is always trying out new routes. In addition to the lunchtime walks, she also organises summer evening walks by bus from the workplace. Participants travel about 5 miles out of Matlock and then walk back.
Plans for County Council walk
The County Council offices are based in a nearby part of the same town. One of their staff already comes on the lunchtime walks and Howard plans to take this further:
My plan is to invite County Council employees formally to come on the Tuesday walk in the Autumn and then we will offer to train up a couple as walk leaders so that they can set up their own walk. The goal is to have two local workplace walks per week, open to employees of both councils.
Benefits of lunch-time walks
Howard can see first-hand how much people enjoy getting out, being active and socialising during their lunch hour. He has noticed that everyone comes back to work feeling really pleased.
Often there is little chance to get to know the place where you work – unless you happen to live there as well. These walks give people the chance to appreciate Matlock’s green spaces. One of our walkers looked out on a field on Masson hill every day from his desk but – until he joined the walk – he had never set foot in it.
The fact that the Council permits and encourages these workplace walks sends out an important message about the value it attaches to physical activity and its benefits for employees. David Wheatcroft the Chief Executive of the Council regularly endorses the workplace walk in his quarterly 'Core Briefing' meetings with staff:
More and more the pressure in workplaces across the country is for staff to dash out and then consume their lunch whilst remaining in front of their computer and not to have a real break.
David Wheatcroft, Chief Executive, Derbyshire Dales District Council