Let's get Scotland Walking - The National Walking Strategy

The National Walking Strategy outlines our vision of a Scotland where everyone benefits from walking.

2. The Policy Context

Scotland was one of the first countries to introduce a national physical activity strategy in 2003, Let's Make Scotland More Active ( LMSMA) [7] . We are again leading the way with the publication of this National Walking Strategy.

Since LMSMA was published, the global Toronto Charter for Physical Activity (2010) [8] has been produced, outlining the direct health benefits and co-benefits of investing in policies and programmes to increase levels of physical activity. The Charter identifies the best investments that work for promoting physical activity including: transport policies and systems that prioritise walking, cycling and public transport; urban design that provides for equitable and safe access for recreational physical activity; and community-wide programs that mobilise and integrate community engagement and resources.

Our first ever National Physical Activity Implementation Plan ( NPAIP) [9] , published in February 2014, seeks to adapt the key elements of the Charter to the Scottish setting and link it directly to the Government's active legacy ambitions for the Commonwealth Games. The creation and implementation of a National Walking Strategy is a crucial step in achieving the outcomes detailed in the five delivery themes of the NPAIP. In addition, increasing physical activity has been identified as a priority in the Single Outcome Agreements with local authorities. This strategy can help guide actions to deliver on this.

A working group was established to inform this National Walking Strategy (see Annex A for membership). Stakeholder engagement on content was conducted at two national conferences, policy and evidence appraisals of walking were undertaken, and a public opinion survey was carried out in early 2014 (follow-up from 2009) [10] . In addition an ISM workshop (Individual, Social and Material tool) 11 was held and a targeted stakeholder consultation carried out. The supporting evidence (including case studies) and public opinion survey are published alongside this strategy [12] .


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