Paths for All

Gerry Keirnan

Friday, April 21, 2017

As a nation, Scotland is inactive, unfit and increasingly overweight or obese. The health of 1/3 of the Scottish population is at risk because they are not sufficiently active to benefit their health.

Currently 33% of men and 41% of women are not meeting the recommended levels of moderate intensity activity of 150 minutes each week (Scottish Health Survey, 2015).

At Paths for All, we believe that walking is the perfect activity to offer to patients, customers or staff teams. We are keen to work in partnership with pharmacy professionals to support you to get your client group more active.

There are lots of ways we can help to get your patients and clients more active: you could help publicise or refer your patients to a local Health Walk.

Sharing information about local Health Walk projects in your pharmacy is a great way to give people the opportunity of participating in accessible physical activity opportunities.

We support Health Walk projects across Scotland to help people become more active by going for a walk.  Health Walks are local, safe, friendly and free and there’s no special equipment required; just comfortable shoes, dress for the weather and turn-up at your local Health Walk!

Health Walks:

  • Are free
  • Are accessible to all
  • Are within the physical capabilities of most people
  • Combine physical activity with an opportunity for social contact and support
  • Can be enjoyed safely with a low risk of injury
  • Encourage people to consider other aspects of their lifestyle e.g. healthy eating, stopping smoking and reducing stress

We support over 500 Health Walks taking place across Scotland every week. From Kirkwall to Galashiels, all Health Walks are free, accessible, fun, and open to everyone. We’ve trained thousands of volunteers to safely lead these health walks in local communities, so you can refer clients and patients with confidence. Use our Health Walk finder to find walks in your area.

The benefits of Health Walks are amazing. Here’s how some of our Health Walkers describe why they enjoy being part of a Health Walk:

“I feel more relaxed and not so short of breath.”

 “Mind and body feel more alert and fitter!”

 “I do not walk on my own. I need the company and companionship of the group for encouragement.”


We’re also working with partners to develop cancer specific Health Walks, dementia friendly Health Walks and walking football sessions across Scotland. We want to ensure that everyone can access and enjoy the benefits of being more active.

If you have any ideas or comments, or would like to do more to promote walking, we’d love to hear from you. You can email us at or give us a call on 01259 218 888.