Firms in West Dunbartonshire are being called on to encourage workers to walk more at work.

The initiative, from the charity Paths for All, comes as research shows the average working-age adult sits for 9.5 hours a day.

Businesses are now being urged to register with the charity and be considered for a Walk at Work Award.

Active meetings, lunchtime walks, standing desks and promoting ways to get to work on foot will all count towards the award.

By signing up, employers will receive one-to-one support on how to create a walking culture at work as well as examples of best practice and where to find extra help and resources.

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, said: “When people commute, particularly those who work in offices or who travel by car, they tend to be more inactive.

"This award will reward employers who encourage regular walks, breaks from the desk and activity during the working day.

“It will also offer support to businesses who are interested in helping their staff become more active but perhaps don’t know where to start.

“I’d encourage employers to look at what they can do to foster a walking culture and register for the Walk at Work Award.”

Ian Findlay, chief officer at Paths for All, said walking is one of the simplest and best things people can do for physical and mental health.

He said: "It’s free, you don’t need any special equipment, and it can be easily incorporated into the average working day.

“Research shows that employees who are physically active in and around the working day take fewer sick days, are more motivated and productive, and are more able to concentrate, so walking is not just good for us, it’s good for business.

“Many adults sit for long periods of time while at work, so workplaces must take action to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve health and wellbeing.

“This award will not only reward workplaces that are creating a walking culture for their staff, it will also increase and encourage a variety of different walking opportunities and activities during the day.

“Working alongside partners such as Cycle Scotland who offer the Cycle Friendly Employer Award, and having received endorsement from Healthy Working Lives, this new award is part of a suite of awards available to help create a healthier, more active workforce.”

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS) is among the first businesses to sign up to the Walk at Work Award.

Recent findings from UK workplaces reveal that half of all employees experience poor mental health at work, including stress, anxiety and depression. Regular walking can reduce the effects of poor mental health, particularly walking in greenspace.

Physical activity can also combat against the risk of type 2 diabetes, some cancers and stroke.

For more information, or to register, visit, email or call 01259 218888.