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Three reasons walking and cycling will benefit your residents

Blog by Kath Brough, Head of Behaviour Change, Cycling Scotland 

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The social housing sector goes above and beyond its primary remit of providing housing. Working across employment, education, health and social care, housing associations play a key role across the many different areas of a tenant’s life.

Small interventions can have big impacts; one of which is a new fund which encourages tenants to live healthier lives through foot and pedal power. Here are our top three reasons regarding how it could have an impact on the lives of your residents:

  1. Support mental wellbeing

    Even small amounts of exercise are scientifically proven to make us feel happier. Walking and cycling are great ways to support and improve the mental wellbeing of your residents. By supporting them to be outside, doing light exercise and interacting with others, walking and cycling are important steps in tackling anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

  2. Improve physical health

    Walking and cycling are both great for the body, but you don’t have to climb mountains or cycle the Tour de France to feel the benefits. You use over 200 muscles when you take just one step, and so a short walk or a gentle cycle are brilliant ways to keep bodies healthy. Both walking and cycling reduce the prevalence of diabetes, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

  3. Connect communities

    Loneliness is one of the biggest challenges of our society: taking part in activities helps to combat isolation and connect residents with other tenants and staff members. Regular activities, such as lunchtime walks or bike rides to a local café provide opportunities for people to connect with others and are especially good for engaging with men’s groups, youth projects or harder-to-reach groups.

Funding to support walking and cycling:

You can apply for up to £25,000 for infrastructure that will encourage walking and cycling, such as bike shelters, outdoor furniture, seating and planters.

Visit www.cycling.scot/socialhousingfund to download the guidance pack, get in touch by emailing socialhousingfund@cycling.scot or call 0141 229 5350 – we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

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