Smarter Travel Live! - 'Apps and incentives'
18 October 2017
12 June 2017-
David was never particularly active as a child and, as an adult, he is not a fan of gyms or running. But has always found enjoyment in walking. After turning 40, David noticed he was putting on weight and decided to make a concerted effort to address it, as well as stay active and healthy.
At first, David walked once a day and, over time, built up to at least twice a day, walking to work and then at lunchtime and also in the evenings.
In the evening, David makes sure he goes out straight after dinner. “I take advantage that I’ve not fully settled. Then after my walk I settle down for the evening. I try to walk for an hour. My eldest Daughter now comes out for a walk with me and has taken up an interest in walking.”
David makes a point of prioritising walking in his life and has learned to structure his day around it. “I was worried when I changed job that the location in a business park would mean I wouldn’t be able to walk in the day. I used to walk to work and again at lunchtime. I was pleasantly surprised that there were routes to take and colleagues already walking independently.”
And he doesn’t stop there: “When in the office, I’ll walk to see colleagues rather than pick up the phone.” But that’s still not enough for David: “It would be great if you could have desks with exercise equipment built in or standing desks,” he says.
David and a few colleagues have even set up an informal walking club. “A core group of four or five go out every lunchtime. We walk around the footpaths of Tamworth. It tends to be the directors of the company and senior people that take part. Maybe the younger ones go to the gym or don’t yet feel the need. There is also a running club at work that often overtake the walking club.”
He likes to use apps like BetterPoints to motivate himself and keep him consistent as well as push for more. The National Walking Month challenge in May gave David encouragement to go out every day: “it stopped the excuse of staying in to watch something on telly or when the weather wasn’t so great,” he says.
David has been with BetterPoints since Spring 2016 and has taken part in a few programmes that have been available to him in Birmingham. Currently he’s part of the Brum Breathes programme, designed to promote cleaner air in the most polluted parts of Birmingham.
“I wouldn’t go back to being inactive,” he says. “I really enjoy walking and would recommend it to anyone.”