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Meet the walkers: Orla

We ask walkers who have taken part in the Step Count Challenge why they decided to take part and what walking means to them.

Published: 12/11/2020

Orla from team RIS RD tells us about missing her commute (who would have said that 12 months ago?) and how she has finds time to fit some walking into her day now she's working from home. 

When I was travelling into the office, my commute would involve more than an hour of walking to and from the train station. I never thought I would say this, but I really miss my commute! I’m delighted that I no longer have a 6.30 am alarm, instead I try to take time out during the day to walk. I’ll blank an hour out on my calendar, choose an audiobook, and go. 

I live in Stirling, with lots of great walking routes nearby; paths along the River Forth, Riverside and Cambuskenneth Abbey, Stirling Old Town, Bridge of Allan Darn Walk or Carse of Lecropt, walks around the loch at University of Stirling, Abbey Craig (for the best views!), and lots more.

I like that walking is a gentle exercise for me, but it’s also vital for my own mental health. It’s a stress relief, where I can take a break from work or family life, and return with a fresh perspective.

Compared to the office, working from home is a whole different dynamic, no casual conversations over the kettle, no strolls across town between meetings, no popping out for coffee. The Step Count Challenge has been the perfect motivation for me to take time away from my desk. There’s a friendly rivalry amongst colleagues, and it’s a nice distraction from the serious work chat to talk about step counts and good walking routes instead.