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Businesses urged to combat stress by encouraging staff to go for a walk

Written by Dara Jegede on Friday, 09 May 2014. Posted in Wellbeing, People

Mind and Living Streets team up ahead of Walk to Work Week in bid to plug SMEs' £26bn stress-related illness deficit

Businesses urged to combat stress by encouraging staff to go for a walk

A good stroll can often help clear the mind and, for some of us, a power walk is the cardio sesh ticked off our to-do list for the week. Essentially, walking - in whatever form it takes - can be very good for you.

It's fitting therefore that Mind, the mental health charity and Living Streets, the charity behind Walk to Work Week, have teamed up to get Britain's workers out on the streets, in a bid to boost their morale and raise some money for charity in the process.

New research from Living Streets reveals that over 80% of people report an uplift in mood after going for a walk - and with Walk to Work Week just around the corner, both charities are encouraging SMEs to sign-up and get their employees involved. 

The event takes on extra relevance when one considers that stress-related illness is currently leaving a £26bn hole in SMEs' coffers. A recent study from Mind has revealed that one in three people (34%) thought their work life was either very or quite stressful, thus making work the most stressful part of people's lives. As we ourselves discussed earlier this year, tackling work-related stress at an early stage can prevent it leading more serious and long term mental health problems. Regular walks are thus a decent place to start when it comes to addressing the stress.

“Long-term exposure to stress can lead to high rates of sickness absence, lower productivity, poor morale and retention,” said Beth Murphy, head of information at Mind. “It’s vital organisations tackle the causes of poor mental health at work and encouraging employees to engage in physical activity is an important step in keeping staff happy and healthy; and performing at their best. Signing up your workplace for Walk to Work Week is a great way for employers to demonstrate their commitment to supporting the health and well-being of their staff.”

Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Living Streets, added: "‘Walk to Work Week is a fun way to motivate staff, boost morale and build team spirit. It should be on every manager and HR professional’s calendar."

It all kicks off next Monday and it's safe to say we'll be practising what we preach here at Elite Business. Walking shoes at the ready!  

 

About the Author

Dara Jegede

Dara Jegede

Jegede recently left the London School of Journalism having previously embarked on a soul-searching stint in the city of love. That's Paris, by the way.

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