Why walk?

Walking is quick and reliable

For short journeys, walking is quick and reliable. It always takes the same amount of time.

Half of London car journeys are under 2km, which is just a 25 minutes' walk.

If you're out in London, you can use our Legible London maps and signs to get where you're going quickly. Legible London in the Bond Street area has sped up the average walking journey by 16%.

If you want to know how long it will take to walk somewhere, use the Walking Journey Planner or Walkit.com.

Walking is good for your health

Brisk walking is a great way to clear your head, reduce stress and release those mood-boosting endorphins.

It's the nearest thing to 'perfect' exercise in terms of a safe, all-round workout. And it doesn't cost a penny or need any special equipment.

  • If you walk an extra 20 minutes a day, you'll burn off more than 3kg of body fat a year
  • A single step uses up to 200 muscles. So you're not only doing a little cardio, but toning your muscles too
  • Walking can halve your risk of coronary heart disease and help prevent some cancers
  • Walking may slow cognitive decline in adults, especially those with existing conditions such as Alzheimer's
  • Walking can help to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes

Get a little exercise into your working day by walking to work or between meetings.

If you'd like to start walking with a support programme where you can walk with others, visit the Get Walking, Keep Walking website.

To find out more about the thousands of great walking opportunities in London, visit the Walk4Life website.

Walking makes a greener planet

You can breathe in more pollution inside your car than walking the same route. The average two-way school run emits 800g of carbon dioxide into the air. That's enough to inflate more than 60 balloons.

For every young person walking (instead of being driven) one mile to school and back, we'd save 57kg of carbon per year.

To find out more about swapping the school run for a walk, visit Living Street's Walk to School website.

Walking is good for London's economy

Walking supports local shops and businesses. Here's the evidence:

  • Walking is the second most popular way for Londoners to visit town centres, after taking the bus. It's more popular than the car, train or Tube
  • People who walk to town centres spend more per head per month than other shoppers. It's because they linger longer
  • Pedestrians are the most frequent visitors to town centres each month. So not only do they spend more money per trip, they visit more often too
  • Government research shows that making town centres better for walking can boost trading by up to 40%
  • London's annual West End Very Important Pedestrian (VIP) Day in December, when Oxford and Regent Streets close to traffic, increases footfall by up to 40%. Some stores achieve their best sales figures of the year 
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