Today is the start of Walk to Work Week, an event organised by the charity Living Streets and part of the National Walking Month which is supported by various organisations such as the Ramblers, the NHS, the British Heart Foundation and Walk England.
At Search Laboratory members of staff, travel to work from various corners of Yorkshire and we organised a small survey to discover their means of transport and their walking habits in general. As you will see below the results show a wide diversity. Incidentally the answer rate to the survey was 43.4% out of all staff in our offices, that’s 63 respondents.
How do Search Laboratory members of staff get to work?
We asked the question: “How do you travel to work?” Not surprisingly car was the most popular answer with 60.3% of respondents. However out of these, 21% of the motorists also stated that as well as their car they also used another mode of transportation.
The second most popular answer was on foot with 28.6% of respondents. This is not bad considering that both our offices are not centrally located in Leeds. Out of the walkers, there are 16.7% who use a combination of transportation which doesn’t involve a car (i.e bus and walking or train, bus and walking), the remainder are pure walkers (61.1%) or occasional walkers (22.2%) – motorists with a guilty conscience?
A lot of staff also use public transport with 23.8% stating they use the bus and 3.2% stating they use the train. All respondents who use the train also use the bus as a combination of transport to go to work. This is hardly surprising since Leeds train station is not located near our offices. However if a quarter of all respondents are using the bus, it shows that our offices are well connected to the transportation network, therefore it makes it a convenient means of transport – in fact 53.3% of those who use the bus answered that it is their sole mean of transport. Finally, 6.3% of respondents state that they cycle to work.
Walking habits at Search Laboratory
We asked the Search Laboratory staff: “How many minutes a day do you walk?” and “Would you consider walking more if you could?”
The results actually mirror some findings recently published in the Independent for the Ramblers Association. In this survey of more than 2000 people, it was discovered that ’43 per cent of people surveyed walk for 120 minutes or less a week,’ while our survey found out that 41% of staff at Search Laboratory walk 15 minutes a day or less (thats 105 minutes a week).
To quote the Independent article again: “Chief medical officers recommend that adults do 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, like walking, per week”.
To the question, “Would you consider walking more if you could?”, Search Lab staff expressed a positive opinion and almost 81% of all respondents want to walk more. In the Independent survey, nine out of 10 Britons agree that walking is a good form of exercise which can keep you healthy.
Is walking to work realistic?
The last question on our survey was: “Would you like to participate in the Walking to Work Week event?” While the majority of answers we received were positive with 50.8% saying they would be happy to participate, there are still almost a quarter of respondents who don’t know. Not surprisingly this is the question which got the most comments and most of them were of the sentiment that, I live too far away.