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Taking a walk or a bike on short trips around town could be more viable than many people might think. A recent activity in Auckland showed that many people underestimated how far they already normally travel under their own steam.
Sport Waitakere walking advocate Emma Haigh has outlined the "Step2It" short walk campaign at the national 2Walk&Cycle conference in Hastings this week. Around 200 delegates have been hearing nearly 80 presentations covering a range of topics on how to better plan and provide for walking and cycling in New Zealand.
Emma Haigh says “Many people don’t consider walking even short distances as they think they are not fit enough. The Step2It campaign aimed to demonstrate that people actually walk quite a distance every day without realising it”
“A survey was conducted where people were asked to wear a pedometer during their weekly shopping at a supermarket. Many of the people who took part in the survey were staggered at how far they had actually walked during their shopping. We then encouraged those people to find out what was within that walking distance from their home,” Emma Haigh says.
The survey revealed that the average distance walked during shopping at a supermarket was over 600 metres.
Emma Haigh says “People don’t really consider walking around a supermarket as being too difficult and we want to encourage everyone to think seriously about walking short distances to school or work and leaving the car in the garage”.
Conference convenor Glen Koorey agrees. "It's a similar issue for cycling. Many novices are daunted by the prospect of, say, a 3km bike trip. But it's actually only a 10-minute ride at a very leisurely pace."
The conference wraps up this afternoon. (Friday)