Three walkers hiking trough woodland wearing packs and waterproof clothing

Walking your way to better mental health

Marketing Week recently reported that “female marketers are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to managing burnout, with stretched teams, tight budgets and a persistent gender pay gap burning women out”. This follows a study commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in which “51% of marketers admitted they feared burning out in their current role”. Whilst the causes of mental ill health are complex, ‘feeling isolated at work’ was reported as a contributing factor to burnout by 42% of respondents of Mental Health UK’s Burnout Report.

Tackling stress and burnout, one step at a time

Hundreds of academic studies find that good social ties mean better physical, mental and cognitive health, as well as a longer life. But with more of us feeling isolated at work due to remote working and smaller teams, it’s not a given that we can build positive relationships at the office.

Thankfully, there is extensive evidence to suggest that walking – in particular, walking in a group – can combat the ill-effects of loneliness. Walking not only stimulates conversation, fosters relationships and cements friendships, but its slow, familiar pace makes it uniquely and incomparably inclusive.

Let’s explore the impact of walking on our health…

  • Walking groups have been proven not only to improve the physical health of their members, but their mental health too. According to the book 52 Ways to Walk by Annabel Streets, “a study involving 1,843 participants walking for a combined 74,000 hours found a ‘statistically significant’ drop in feelings of stress and depression among regular group walkers”.


  • Studies also suggest that “when we walk with others, we experience feelings of social connection, acceptance, belonging and safety. The slow rhythmic pace, the co-ordinated movement, and the absence of eye contact create a relaxed intimacy, making it easier to share and exchange confidences, thoughts and ideas”.


  • When we experience the feeling of ‘belonging’ within a walking group, that feeling often extends to the landscape as well. According to anthropologist Tessa Pollard, walking creates a shared sensory experience which connects us to each other and to the land.


  • Walking groups for women have particular significance. Women who share regular walks when facing a turning point in life, have found each other to become ‘lifelines’, perceived “as a source of psychological transformation and emotional rescue, in which the togetherness was as crucial a factor as the wild landscape”.


You might be thinking that your next walking meeting around the block can help. Whilst it can, studies show the effects of group walking are enhanced when done in natural, rather than urban, environments. Walks in nature have been found to result in “a significant influence on mental well-being”.

So, whether you walk as a team or find a group walk to join, you’ll experience the benefits to your physical and mental health in no time. Why not book a team building walk or join our free monthly netwalk to get started?


Better mental health is one step away.

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