Walking is transport.  In fact the majority of all journeys involve walking, and the healthiest, happiest places tend to be places that are highly walk-able, rather than being dominated by motor traffic.

The good news is that just 2, 10-minute walks a day can  improve your health and wellbeing: you’ll sleep better, feel more relaxed, and significantly reduce the risk of developing a range of health problems, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Using public transport is a great way to build some walking into your day and people who regularly use public transport are more likely to get the activity they need to stay healthy.  You may be able to add some extra walking to your usual trips by getting off a stop early.  Maybe not if its raining! Although as the Dutch say to their children, “You’re not made of sugar.”

If you want to keep track of your daily walking, use the free One You Active 10 walking app.

Could you walk more?  If you’re used to travelling by bus or car, you may not realise just how many alternative walking routes there are.  Look on a map or use an app to find walking routes using side streets, parks, canal and riverside paths.  Not only will you avoid pollution, but these routes are often much more pleasant, and passing through green space is good for our mental health and well being.

Walking and Pollution

Traffic pollution tends to be very localised on busy, congested roads and junctions. So, if there is a safe alternative route that avoids the traffic, it’s a good idea to take it, especially when pollution levels are high.   You’re unlikely to be able to avoid all traffic, but taking care to choose a route will help you avoid pollution,as this article explains.

It might be tempting to sit in a car rather than walk to avoid pollution, but research shows clearly that drivers and passengers experience higher levels of pollution inside cars than pedestrians and cyclists outside, with professional drivers such as bus and taxi drivers worst affected.