Keeping the Walking and Cycling Activity Boom Times Post COVID-19

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The COVID-19 experience over the five months has been one of extremes. We have seen the devastating impact on health and wellbeing around the world, along with the economic impact of a global shut down of business. One positive aspect has been an apparent and significant increase in walking and cycling as other forms of exercise such as gyms and organised sports have been closed down. It is almost a step back in time to the 50s, 60s and 70s when physical activity was a key part of life. This change has been achieved without any form of physical activity campaign and has resulted in a positive physical activity outcome far greater than any health or travel behaviour change campaign in living memory.

With Australia seeing COVID-19 numbers stabilising and reducing, we have the opportunity to enable the physical activity increase to continue, before the community fall quickly back to old habits. This has the potential to significantly improve physical and mental wellbeing, reduce congestion (roads and public transport), improve road safety, reduce health system costs, reduced air pollution and increase personal/family time.

As a starting point, we need to quickly start exploring how the increases in walking and cycling has happened and what we can learn from the experience to continue the positive change.

CWANZ will enable the discussion to commence via an interactive webinar with leading experts from Australia and New Zealand.

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