Employers urged to sign up to Active Travel Challenge

Posted by
Thursday, April 18th, 2019
Business, Community, What's On

Employers across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to sign-up to the Active Travel Challenge for a healthier and more environmentally-friendly commute.

The Department for Infrastructure, Public Health Agency, Sustrans and Translink have joined forces to launch the new initiative.



Throughout June, employers are asked to encourage staff to leave the car at home and walk, cycle or take public transport for some of their journeys to, from and during work.

Participants log their ‘active travel’ journeys online and can compete with colleagues and other companies to see who makes the most journeys.

Each week of the month will have a different ‘active travel’ theme with a range of prizes and incentives up for grabs to motivate employees to join the challenge.

Encouraging organisations to get involved, Translink’s Employee Support Officer Una Carson said, “Following the success of Translink’s Corporate Challenge over the past 3 years which saw employers encourage staff to use the bus or train for their daily commute, we have set the bar even higher in 2019, joining with partner agencies to deliver a month-long active travel challenge that kicks off with Bus + Train Week.



“Research shows that people who take public transport are more active, clocking up additional steps and burning more calories as they walk to and from the bus or train.

“By incentivising staff to travel more actively throughout June, employers can help improve the health and wellbeing of workers, whilst reducing traffic congestion and creating better air quality for everyone who lives here,” she added.

Steven Patterson, Sustrans Delivery Manager, added, “Many commuters spend a large chunk of their day sitting in traffic jams. We believe you can combine active travel into all or part of your daily commute.



“We are really keen to attract the ordinary, mainly sedentary worker to take part and enjoy the difference getting active as part of your daily routine can make to your life. The Active Travel Challenge is a great way to get started,” Steven added.

Brendan Bonner, Assistant Director of Public Health, Health Improvement at the PHA, said, “This partnership initiative is a fantastic opportunity for workers across NI to use the month of June to try out active travel as a means of commuting to work and we would encourage people to embrace active travel as part of their daily lives.

“Building active travel into your working day through walking and cycling can help contribute to meeting the Chief Medical Officers’ recommended amount of physical activity of 150 minutes each week.



“Research shows that people who are physically active can reduce their risk of developing chronic conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and respiratory conditions. It can also improve sleep, help maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress and anxiety,” he added.

There are many benefits in choosing active travel options – to your health, the environment and your pocket! Many people continue to use a private car for what are relatively short journeys. 

Challenge registration is free and there is a range of fantastic prizes up for grabs including shopping vouchers, sports watches and Translink tickets.

Find out more about signing up to the Active Travel Challenge by visiting https://atc.getmeactive.org.uk/ or email challenge@sustrans.org.uk.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest ATC action on social media using #GetMeActiveNI.



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