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Physical activity investments that work—Get Scotland walking: a National Walking Strategy for Scotland
  1. Aileen Campbell1,
  2. Catherine Calderwood2,
  3. Graeme Hunter3,
  4. Andrew Murray4
  1. 1 Minister for Public Health and Sport, Scottish Government, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Scottish Government, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3 Department of Active Scotland, Scottish Government, Edinburgh, UK
  4. 4 Department of Sport and Exercise, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrew Murray, Department of Sport and Exercise and Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, UK; docandrewmurray{at}

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Programme card


  • Scotland; national government-led programme.

Target population

  • Five million plus persons of all ages in Scotland.

What modes/types/domains of physical activity does the programme promote?

  • The aim of this programme is to get more people in Scotland walking, more often.

Which of the seven best investments does the programme address?

  • This is a cross-sector programme impacting on each of the seven best investments for physical activity.

What sectors does it involve?

  • Communication and public education.

  • Transport and the environment.

  • Urban design and infrastructure.

  • Health and social care.

  • Education.

  • Community-wide approaches.

  • Sport and recreation.

What is special about this programme?

  • A government-led, cross-sectoral initiative that contributed to a 13% increase in population-level recreational walking over a 6-year period, documented by a national health surveillance system.

Key contact

  • Graeme Hunter, Policy Officer, Scottish Government-Active Scotland Division (

Programme website



The Scottish Government recognises that increasing physical activity is crucially important for the mental and physical health of our country. Big health gains come from getting inactive people more active, particularly in the outdoors. The argument is compelling, and our aim to get more people active, more often is clear.

The question we face in Scotland, and indeed worldwide, is ‘how do we achieve this’. We recognise no single intervention will work for all, and that cross-sectoral …

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  • Twitter Get Scotland Walking, @stepchangescot; Aileen Campbell, @ClydesdAileen; Catherine Calderwood, @CathCalderwood1; Andrew Murray, @docandrewmurray

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.