It is becoming increasingly clear that the daily physical activity we do has a major impact on our health. Today’s office worker is in a hard position health wise: sitting down all day, hunched over a desk, minimal movement besides the occasional trip to the toilet. Studies have shown that 8 hours of sitting significantly increases the chance of a number of health conditions.
Although, there is hope for those who cycle or take public transport to travel to work. The health benefits of travelling in this way are repeatedly demonstrated in studies, particularly cycling. Cyclist live longer and healthier lives. It’s not a coincidence that ‘active mobility’ is used as a way to prevent ill-health.
But there are many people who prefer to travel to work by car. For them, the question remains: how can they enough physical activity into the normal working day? This question is also being asked by employers. At the end of the day, healthy employees are needed for healthy companies!
We discussed this challenge with a large Dutch employer. We didn’t only think of ways to encourage cycling and use of public transport, we also spoke about how to help those using cars to commute to work. After parking your car, you usually have to take a little walk, so we thought about this final part of the journey before arrival at your desk. Moving the parking facilities to the edge of the company site all employees would have to walk for around 10-20 minuets everyday (depending on where they park and how eager they are to start/leave work!). To compliment this change, more attractive routes was also proposed. A green, scenic surrounding could even encourage lunch time walks.
The parking policy can contribute to the health of employees. Perhaps a small step, but certainly one in the right direction!
Otto Cazemier, Senior Advisor & Team Leader Collective Mobility
‘I communicate tactical and practical strategies. Most of all, I am interested in traffic and transport processes where a variety of interests and stakeholders are involved. As a team player, I actively contribute to solutions and I am open to ideas from others.’