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Odense - AENEAS Measure #1
Walking Campaign

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Walking tour participants


It is important to be able to walk no matter how you want to be transported. Every time you take a trip, you begin and end with walking to get to or from your bicycle, bus or car. And a little walking will get you a long way, also when it comes to your health.

Therefore we wanted to remind our senior citizens about the delights in walking, getting exercise in an easy way, experiencing the city, being with others, having fun, enjoying nature etc. The aim of the campaign was to encourage older people to start to walk more and thereby create a healthy habit of walking for them selves in general.

Second Walking Campaign in Odense

We took advantage of the spring and launched our second walking campaign in a week with fair weather. To reach a large senior audience the Department of Culture and Urban Development cooperated with the Department of the Elderly and Disabled. Local associations and clubs with interests in the elderly also made a great contribution to the campaign programme.

As a result the senior citizens could participate in guided tours, exhibitions, training activities, games and sports related to walking. More than 100 activities showed how enjoyable walking can be in its many aspects. Especially the social aspect of walking with others was appreciated by the participants.

To keep the seniors encouraged to walk further, pedometers was handed out and the forming of walking clubs was suggested. By the end of the week at least 2500 seniors had participated in a walking activity, and many more had been made aware of the benefits of walking.

Lessons learnt

Walking activities are very popular in Odense especially when it comes to guided tours. The participants were very pleased, and a lot of them asked for more guided walking activities in the future. After the campaign several new walking clubs emerged to carry on walking training, so help with starting new walking groups seem a great way to encourage more walking training carried out by the citizens them selves.

Working together with the Department of the Elderly and Disabled turned out very successful. The Department contributed with a lot of activities and the employees’ daily contact motivated the elderly citizens to take part in the walking campaign.

By enjoying the activities a lot of the participants discovered that their ability to walk exceeded even their own expectations. Thus, the programme encouraged them to walk further the next time and ultimately incorporate more walking as a way of mobility in daily life.

The participants had very different conditions for engaging in these walking activities. Some would walk effortlessly several kilometres, while others felt challenged to do even very short walks. Therefore, the activities varied in difficulty.

As our earlier campaign targeted experienced walkers, this time the focus was on increasing the mobility of weaker walkers. A lot of the activities therefore were supported by walking assistants who would support slow walkers, push wheelchairs or accompany participants using walking frames. Some of the walking assistants were part of an integration project with foreigners who will work with the elderly and healthcare. Particularly some of the foreign seniors benefited from this action.

After the campaign several new local walking clubs emerged to carry on the walking training.

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