Walk to Work Day 2017 for Diabetes Australia

Diabetes Australia Walk to Work Day is this Friday and organisers are saying “no more excuses!”. With one Australian diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every eight minutes there has never been a better time to get walking and start on the path to a healthier workplace and a healthier you.

Now in its 19th year, Walk to Work encourages employees and employers to build walking into their everyday lives – not just on Friday, October 6 2017, but every day.

Walking meetings, walking to and from work, taking a walk at lunchtime, and using the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator are just some of the ways you can start. You also have the opportunity to help raise vital funds for Diabetes Australia.

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said while family history and cultural background play a strong role in risk of type 2 diabetes – the risk is greatly increased if people are inactive, sedentary or overweight.

"With around 280 Australians developing diabetes every day – diabetes is the single biggest challenge facing Australia’s health system. Walking is one of the best ways to help people reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It also helps people who have type 2 diabetes manage their condition,” he said.

Prof Johnson said employers can play an important role in encouraging their staff to build walking into their daily routine.

“Employees who walk regularly are generally more productive, have less stress and are less likely to be sick or absent. Companies like Energizer Australia have partnered with us this year to demonstrate their dedication to the health of their employees. We hope more will follow,” he said.

Pedestrian Council Chairman Harold Scruby said: “Taking positive steps to reduce sedentary behaviour and prevent type 2 diabetes can also reduce other risk factors like stroke, heart disease and various types of cancer.

“Let’s not make any more excuses – no more ‘due to a previous engagement’. Most of us can walk at least 1km to and from work, set the alarm 30 minutes earlier and create a great example for all Australians. Regular walking helps relieve feelings of depression or anxiety and improves our environment by reducing car dependency and traffic jams – best of all walking is free!”

Start raising money for Diabetes Australia. It’s easy to get involved:

  • Go to www.walk.com.au and donate directly or fundraise vital funds for Diabetes Australia.
  • Donate or collect $12 for each hour you walk to represent the 12 Australians developing diabetes every hour. Download your digital Walk to Work fundraising guide from here.

Walking tips for busy people

  1. Walk some or if you can, walk all the way to work. 
  2. Get off the bus, train, or tram a few stops earlier.
  3. Leave the car at least 1km away from work and walk the rest of the way.
  4. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier to fit in a walk to work.
  5. Organise a walk at lunchtime with colleagues.
  6. Walk all or part of the way to meetings rather than driving or catching taxis 
  7. Schedule a “walking meeting” (a Walking Workshop) instead of sitting down. Walk and talk and you’ll get double the benefit. 
  8. Ensure you get up from your desk at least once an hour and walk around the office.
  9. Wherever possible, use the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator
  10. Host a healthy breakfast to reward those who participate.

Did you know

  • One Australian develops type 2 diabetes every 8 minutes.
  • 12 Australians develop diabetes every hour. 
  • 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. 
  • Regular walking can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and help manage diabetes for people already living with the chronic condition 
  • Two million Australians are currently at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Diabetes shares risk factors with cancer, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease
  • Type 2 diabetes can be prevented in up to 58% of cases in the high risk population, through lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, regular physical activity, and weight reduction.
  • You can take the test to assess your risk of developing type 2 diabetes at diabetesaustralia.com.au/risk-calculator