Today marks the 17th Diabetes Australia’s ‘Walk to Work Day’, an annual event which helps employers and employees build regular walking into their routine.

The main objectives of the day are:

  • To  raising funds for Diabetes Australia
  • To promote regular walking as a health activity and reduce the incidence of diabetes
  • To reduce the reliance on cars and promote the use of public transport
  • To improve air quality by reducing unnecessary vehicle emissions, in turn reducing global warming.

Diabetes is a chronic condition which involves the inability to no longer produce or not produce sufficient amounts of insulin in the body. For our bodies to work properly, we need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. A hormone called insulin is essential for the conversion of glucose into energy.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90 per cent of people with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes affects about 10-15 per cent of all cases of diabetes. Other forms of diabetes include gestational diabetes, which affects between 3-8 per cent of pregnant women around the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy; pre-diabetes and secondary diabetes.

The day aims to reduce the incidence of diabetes, in particular type 2 diabetes. Despite the strong genetic link, there is a much higher risk of developing the disease when associated with high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body, where extra weight is carried around the waist.

In addition to raising awareness and funds for such a devastating disease, the day encourages health and wellbeing among all participants. Walking is a great way to improve your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat and boost muscle power and endurance.

Body+Soul offers seven great reasons to walk to work, in support of the awareness day. Check it out here.

To support this worthy cause, you can donate here. Or why not make a change in your life and walk to work? If you live too far away, then get off your bus a few stops early or park a bit further away from work. Every little bit helps and could serve to inspire someone and generally make a difference!