YOU might call it the tale of one council joining the war against lethargy.
The City of Brimbank has launched dozens of footpath stencils featuring the words of Charles Dickens to encourage more residents to get walking for better health.
“Walk and be happy, walk and be healthy” will feature on footpaths throughout the Glengala Road shopping strip precinct in Sunshine West, inviting residents to join Heart Foundation Walking – Australia’s largest free walking network.
But we’re still not heeding the advice.
Heart Foundation Walking national manager Michelle Wilson said that while Dickens’ advice was coined long ago (it comes from Household Words (1858), its relevance remains.
“Walking can do wonders for our health and happiness, but too many Victorians are missing out,” Ms Wilson said.
“More than 53 per cent of Victorians aged 18 and over are not active enough – that’s more than two million people who have much to gain by moving more.
“Being inactive increases the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke, and shortens lifespan by up to five years.
“But on the other hand, just walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes by a third.”
The stencils complement the area chosen for Brimbank’s 20-Minute Neighbourhood project, which aims to give residents the ability to “live locally”, accessing most of their everyday needs within a 20-minute walk, cycle or public transport trip of their home.
The Heart Foundation Walking program allows people to walk in groups or as an individual via the Heart Foundation Walking app.