Walking Matters engages with communities

For our health

A brisk walk is the cheapest, most accessible form of excercise we can do. Walkers have less incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases. They live longer and get mental health and spiritual benefits.

The World Health Organisation recommends we get at least a half hour of exercise a day - such as a brisk walk. If we can integrate this into our daily lives - such as by walking to work or the shops, or walking the kids to school, we cut out that great excuse we all face for not exercising: I don't have time!

But our cities, towns and neighbourhoods need to be more inviting, more interesting and safer places for us to walk.

It can be as simple as pedestrian crossing lights that keep us waiting too long (they're usually set to prioritise cars), or not having safe places to cross the road at all! If we walk into town to do our shopping, is there a convenient local bus that can get me - and my shopping - back home? If the kids walk to school and get rained on, is there a convenient place for them to hang their wet gear?

And when we start to examine our public spaces from the perspective of the pedestrian, it generally has the effect of improving it for all non-car users - including cyclists and people for whom 'accessibility' is an issue.  This can be anyone from people pushing strollers to those who use wheelchairs.


Cycling to work, college or school has to be one of the best ways of getting a fresh air fix, saving money and saving time.

Cycling for any local trip is worth considering. Whatever the traffic conditions are on a particular day, you’ll find the time taken on a bike to make any regular journey is very predictable. Planning your day is much easier and a whole lot less stressful when you know exactly when you will arrive.

Cycling can be the fun alternative to joining a gym – it offers all the benefits of regular exercise. Increased aerobic fitness, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol are some of the rewards. It also helps tone up calves, thighs, and hips and can burn off calories at a rate of up to 700 per hour! Studies have also shown that those who cycle to work have a significantly lower mortality rate.

But you don’t have to be super-fit to enjoy cycling. One of the great things about cycling is you can take it at whatever pace suits you. Chances are you will find yourself beating rush hour traffic speeds without even trying too hard.

Choosing to cycle instead of driving gives you the good feeling that you are doing your bit for a more pleasant city and a cleaner environment.

Not only is cycling an easy way of saving on travel time while getting exercise and staying fit, and helping the environment, you’ll also save money.

See the National Transport Authority's excellent website for helpful hints on things like how to get started cycling and how much money you will save by cycling more!