About

Heart&Stroke Walkabout™  is an initiative of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, Department of Health and Wellness and the Ecology Action Centre.

Our goal is to help Nova Scotians discover the magic of walking and realize the physical and mental benefits of walking within their communities. It’s about changing the way we think about walking—putting feet back on the streets and walking back in the hearts and minds of Nova Scotians.

The program supports thousands of Nova Scotians to walk and gain momentum every day. Since the program launched in 2007:

  • Organizations and individuals have purchased 5712 pedometers to track their steps.
  • We’ve partnered with Nova Scotia [email protected] sites and Nova Scotia libraries to provide 1100 pedometers, which can be borrowed for 3 weeks at a time. To date, pedometers have been borrowed 3500 times.
  • 4,000+ people just like you have joined the Walkabout website, logged more than 1.3 billion steps, and created over 600 routes and groups for members to explore.
  • We’ve trained close to 400 Leaders to coordinate walking groups in workplaces and communities across Nova Scotia.
  • We’ve provided 3 awards celebrating great community work to support walkability.
  • We’ve provided grants to 6 communities to support walking efforts.

Find out more about how Heart&Stroke Walkabout™ is supporting communities, workplaces and schools to be more active through walking.

At a glance

The long term goal of Heart&Stroke Walkabout is to increase the percentage of Nova Scotians who walk 30 to 60 minutes, most days of the week, for health benefits or as a mode of active transportation. Evidence from successful physical activity initiatives nationally and internationally has helped inform the approach for this made-in-Nova-Scotia initiative. Its components include:

Simply said, walking takes you places.

Walking is an easy, fun activity that provides instant benefits. From feeling great and connecting with friends to supporting the environment, there are many rewards to walking. And, by the way, it’s good for your health too.

Here are some of the many benefits:

  • Creates opportunities to connect with family and friends
  • Helps clear your mind and problem solve
  • Allows you to explore and enjoy your surroundings
  • It’s relaxing
  • Relieves stress and tension
  • Increases productivity
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight and positive body image
  • Helps you feel good about yourself
  • Improves energy and ability to enjoy life
  • Provides major health benefits, even in people who remain overweight (lower rates of heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases and longer lives)
  • Helps manage heart disease and stroke as well as many other chronic diseases and health problems

Did you know?

  • More than half the body’s muscles are designed for walking; it is natural movement that is virtually injury-free.
  • Physical activity helps prevent certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type II diabetes, certain cancers, and others.
  • Walking is an environmentally sustainable form of transportation. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing communities, our nation and the international community. Walking is one easy way to replace a car trip and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • According to Environment Canada, 27% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, the daily use of cars and trucks make up 12% of our total.
  • Only about 12% of Canadians’ home-based trips (such as trips to the grocery store, work or school) are made on foot or bicycle, compared with 46% in the Netherlands and 41% in Denmark. 1
  • Research has shown that the risk of obesity goes up 6% for every hour spent in a car each day, while the risk of obesity goes down by almost 5% for every kilometer walked each day. 2
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1. Source: Pucher J and Dijkstra L. Promoting safe walking and cycling to improve public health: Lessons from the Netherlands and Germany. American Journal of Public Health. 2003; 93(9):1509-151.
2. Source: Canadian Institute of Health Information. Improving the Health of Canadians: An introduction to health in urban places. Ottawa: Canadian Institute of Health Information, 2006.