People are being urged to put their best foot forward and leave the car at home or hop off the bus a few stops early on Walk to Work Day next Friday (5 April, 2019).

The annual campaign, which began in America 15 years ago and has since spread around the globe, encourages people to take simple steps to improve their health and wellbeing, which could pay dividends years down the line.

There are a huge number of benefits to walking. Evidence suggests that just a 20 minute walk per day helps prevent and manage chronic illnesses, including reducing the risk of death from cancer, and can also help prevent dementia. 

It has a positive effect on the heart, including lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease, strengthens bones and muscles, improves balance and coordination and can help maintain a healthy weight.

Walking is the easiest way of getting exercise into the daily routine and can also improve a person's mood and clear the mind. It also helps to reduce the pollution which would otherwise be created by driving.

John Denley, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Public Health, said: "If you are lucky enough to live close enough to your office, then walking to work is a great way to commute. 

"Even if you are not close enough to walk the whole way in, or simply don't have the time, you could still park a little further away from work than you would normally and walk the last part of the journey, or get off the bus a few stops earlier.

"With the clocks changing and the mornings getting lighter, there’s no better time to take part in an event like this, so why not energise your commute or, alternatively take a lunchtime stroll and encourage your colleagues to join in too."

Meanwhile, people who are inspired to walk more are invited to join a Wolverhampton Walking for Health walk.

Walking for Health organises a regular programme of walks lasting from between 15 and 90 minutes and taking place in different parts of the city, including Ashmore Park, Bantock Park, Penn, Dixon Street Park, Heath Town, Himley and Baggeridge, Pendeford, Perton, Phoenix Park, Springvale Park, Tettenhall and West Park. 

The walks are especially suited for people who currently don't do much walking but who want to get healthier, fitter and be happier; some of the walks are wheelchair and pushchair friendly and some also have places selling refreshments en route.

For more information, please visit Wolverhampton Information Network - Wolverhampton Walking for Health or contact coordinator Angela Wallace on 07913 800712 or via email at

For local resources, information and services which can help you live longer, please visit One You Wolverhampton.