Staff at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in the south of England, UK, plan to raise awareness of the benefits of walking. They recently launched a scheme that encourages NHS staff to relax and recharge and encourage the wider community to take advantage of the South West Coastal Path. 

Supported by South West Coast Path Association, NHS workers in Cornwall chose to kick off the “relax and recharge” strategy by walking the South West Coast Path to mark the 75-year milestone of saving lives. 

The purpose of the walk was to promote the South West Coastal Path and encourage people to walk more often. Walking is shown to improve well-being, mental, physical health and is a great way to socialise.

The walk took in some of the most stunning spots along the Cornish coast between Polkerris near St Austell to Poldridmouth Cove covering a distance of 4.5 miles (7.2km).

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NHS often work in demanding and high-stress environments. Long working hours, intense patient care responsibilities, and the emotional burden of dealing with serious illnesses and life-or-death situations can contribute to high levels of stress. 

Chronic stress can have negative effects on physical and mental health, increasing the risk of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and burnout.

The irregular working hours’ many healthcare professionals are exposed to can also disturb the circadian rhythm and interrupt sleeping patterns,  particularly those in certain specialities like emergency medicine or surgery, who may work irregular shifts, overnight hours, or be on call frequently. Sleep deprivation and an increased risk of health problems.