Walking guru Julia Bradbury has teamed up with The Outdoor Guide to help encourage companies to bring the outdoors in.

Heck, the headline sponsors for Julia’s brand new Cornwall and Devon Walks series, have been the first to get involved, really showing us what their company is made of.

The benefits of walking for health are well known, but we believe that buddying up with a walk partner is a great opportunity to talk too. During lockdown that buddy might be a virtual one, but having someone to spend time with away from the desk is the perfect opportunity to chat and bond, and if needed, share a problem.

Julia's day out at Heck Food
Julia's day out at Heck Food
Heck Food's Outdoor Ambassador, Jack
Heck Food's Outdoor Ambassador, Jack

Sitting down at work is ‘the new smoking’ says TV’s Julia Bradbury

Sitting in offices for hours at a time will become as objectionable as smoking in the post-pandemic world, the TV presenter and environmental campaigner Julia Bradbury has predicted.

Walking guru Julia Bradbury has teamed up with Heck! to launch a new Outdoor Ambassador campaign encouraging other companies to do the same and call the outside in!

“People are tied to their desk and screens more than ever in lockdown and employers need to actively encourage their team to get out and about – whether it’s a walk round the block with a colleague who might live close by – or a walk and talk on the phone. An Outdoor Ambassador could also support mental health which has taken a terrible toll in the last 12 months. While people are working from home, people can swap their company car for a good pair of walking boots and outside gear and in the future, we are going to encourage companies to ramp up their activity, doing things like team building walking adventures and regular desk breaks to increase activity and keep people moving.  Sitting still is the new smoking! We know that a sedentary lifestyle can have a big impact on our health”

Why Walk?

According to the NHS Even walking briskly for just 10 minutes a day has been shown to have a marked benefit on overall health. They define ‘brisk’ as being fast enough for you to be able to talk but not sing, or around 3 miles per hour.

Walking is an often overlooked form of exercise, but there are tonnes of benefits to increasing your daily step count including building stamina, burning excess calories and improving heart health.

During lockdown everyone’s activity levels have dropped. In a study undertaken by the Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre they found that a reduction in daily steps increases your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

There is no better time to become an Outdoor Ambassador, to help you and your colleagues improve your health and ward of the adverse effects of a long period of national inactivity.

Sign up here.

HECK!’s Outdoor Ambassador

Jack Tate, a young Marketing Manager from Yorkshire, completed an epic charity walk over hundreds of miles during Lockdown to raise money for the mental health charity Same You. He is taking his own learnings from walking and teaming up with Julia Bradbury to launch an “Outdoor Ambassador” campaign. The initiative is designed to encourage companies to embrace the outdoors, encourage their employees to get outside every day, and even in Lockdown find a lockdown virtual buddy – either locally, or virtually, to walk and talk.

Explains Jack,

“I have never walked much in my life – more of a gym fan – but the 220 miles I did was brilliant and made me really take a different perspective on life. When I came back to work I made sure that I took a walking lunch break each day, and out of that it really made me think about how more companies could embrace something as simple as the outdoors to really increase mental health and well-being.”

Jack has now been officially appointed HECK!’s Outdoor Ambassador and his role is to look at a number of different ways to encourage team members to get on board, and HECK! has a dedicated section to their website giving inspiration to other companies.

Jack is already planning a series of company walking and outdoor challenges with his colleagues at HECK!. Closer to home, Jack and the team have been restoring a railway walk that goes round the farm, where the HECK! team walk every day when on site with their dogs, who come to work and stay in the dog hotel.

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    Sign Up!

    What do I need to be a work ambassador?

    • Ideally leadership skills!
    • A love of (or at the very least some curiosity about) the outdoors!
    • Definitely a sense of humour!
    • A commitment to making your work place healthier and happier
    • Definitely a pair of comfy walking shoes
    • Ideally a fan of Julia Bradbury’s tv programmes!
    • 20 minutes spare a day (or more if you want!)

    If you can please support …

    The Outdoor Guide FoundationThe Outdoor Guide Foundation
    We’re raising £5,000,000 to provide Primary Schools with outdoor clothing & wellie boots over the next six years to enable children to learn about & enjoy the outdoors. Find out more

     Blog posts …

    At HECK we’ve appointed our first Outdoor Ambassador, Jack Tate, who undertook an epic walk from Yorkshire to Cornwall as a charity fundraiser …