MPs set to get walking?

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MPs set to get walking?

Posted 3 June 2010 16:11 by martin

It is recognised that walking has many health benefits, both physically and mentally. As well as reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and helping to control body fat, walking also enhances mental well being, reduces stress and anxiety and can even improve cognitive functioning.

So an individual that walks on a regular basis is more likely to be healthy, happy and have the ability to perform well at work. And if your job is to run the country, these things are pretty important.

Our MPs should therefore be walking and taking other exercise on a regular basis in order to improve their own well-being and ensure they perform to the best of their ability. And what better way to fit exercise into your daily routine than to make it part of your commute? Add to this the benefit of reducing your carbon footprint by choosing your feet over your car, and walking emerges as the best option for short journeys.

As the new Government has carbon reduction commitments to meet, and has already signed up to the 10:10 campaign (http://www.1010global.org/uk), the hope is that MPs and other government staff will be encouraged to walk, cycle and use public transport much more than previously. Worryingly, former MP Chris Mullin claims that MPs have been positively encouraged to use ministerial cars as much as possible in the past (news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8702883.stm).

With current television campaigns asking the public to reduce their car use by 5 miles a week, and also 'Change for Life' and get more active, our leaders should definitely be leading by example.

David Cameron stated last September that it was unnecessary for cars to be on hand for every government minister, and has now announced that only a handful of senior ministers who require a car for security reasons will be entitled to one as of right. It appears that he is sticking to his word here, despite being advised that his own safety should come first (http://tinyurl.com/37olzon). Lets hope that these commitments continue and we see a big change in the way all MPs get from A to B.

Although, for a so called committed cyclist, I couldn't help but question why Mr Cameron's first (rather short) journey as official leader of this country was taken by car…… (http://tinyurl.com/y7u4z4f)

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