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The launch event for the Big Devon March went off with a blast as 28 staff from across Devon came together in Exeter to pledge their support to get their workplaces walking more during March.
The Big Devon March is a Devon-wide walking campaign being run by Active Devon on behalf of Devon County Council. It is specifically designed to help employers to take their first steps to getting everyone in their office more active in simple, achievable and free ways.
“There are so many simple ways to walk more every day” said Scott Kendall from Active Devon, who ran one of the workshops at the launch event. “It’s not even all about the physical health. Having time to walk can help you manage stress. Catching up with colleagues away from the desk is fun and you’ll all benefit from the fresh air. And that doesn’t even get started on the carbon footprint offsets that can be attributed to your workplace”.
After a brisk walk 20 minute walk around the quay, staff looked at ways they would be able to encourage others in their workplace to walk. Planning routes for walking meetings, reminding colleagues to wear comfy shoes and creating a bit of friendly competition within the workplace are all great ways to get employees moving more.
The support from organisations taking part in the Big Devon March across Devon has been fantastic. Exeter University’s Paul Mouland leads a weekly lunchtime walk around the campus. “It gives staff the opportunity to get away from their desk during lunchtime and what we tend it find is people that do come out on these walks actually find when they go back to their office they are refocused, fresh, they’ve got new ideas on what they’re working on and are really keen to get stuck back into work.” Paul is excited to be using the Big Devon March as a tool to increase the number of staff leaving their desks during lunchtime. “As we go into the Big Devon March, hopefully we’ll do a walk everyday throughout March and we’ll be able to increase numbers throughout the week.”
At the launch event staff went away armed with marketing collateral including posters, branded T shirts, high visibility vests and an all important selfie stick. They were brimming full of ideas on how to get their workplaces walking more and ready to launch their workplace walks on the 1st of March.
It’s easy to get involved in the Big Devon March, visit Active Devon’s website and follow the Big Devon March link. You will get access to a free online platform for logging walking activity where you can compete against other businesses to reach the top of the leaderboard. You will receive regular nudges, tips and advice to encourage staff to be active as well as incentives and competitions throughout the month to keep everyone on their toes.
Workplaces who have strided their way to the top of the leaderboard will be announced weekly. Keep an eye out on Active Devon social media and let us know how your workplace is walking more using the hashtag #MarchWithUs.
For more information on how your workplace can get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org.