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The Ouch Middaymile!

14 January 2022

When I started working at Ouch three years ago, I had never heard of a midday mile!

I suffered from anxiety and found doing new things a challenge. I wanted to understand why we went out every day for a lunchtime walk at Ouch.

After having a chat in the office with the team, about why we do a midday mile, I understood that there were health benefits from taking a daily walk with my colleagues and the Ouch dogs.  We’re lucky here at Ouch, as we have five wonderful dogs that we share the office with, and as a non-dog owner (who really would like a dog!) I always feel I get my dog fix when I come to the office.

At 12 o’clock we turn the phones off, lock the door and all go out for a mile walk by the river Stour. We get away from our desks, chat and laugh, enjoy the beautiful environment and get some exercise. We meet people on the way and say hi or stop for a quick catch-up. The Ouch dogs meet and play with their dog friends. Often, we have delegates from our training courses join us too, so it becomes an opportunity to meet new friends.

We all have wet weather gear so bad weather does not hold us back!

I am really pleased to say that three years later, I look forward to the walk, I’m really benefiting mentally from going out every day, to clear my mind.

Do you want to do the midday mile too and feel the benefits?

Here are some top tips for you:

1. Enjoy it! It’s a short time away from your desk to clear your head and think about other things!

2. Please don’t talk about work; this is a time to talk about other things and really get to know the people that you’re walking on the midday with.

3. Breathing that fresh air; might sound silly but it’s a really good way to not think about the pressures of the workplace.

4. It doesn’t have to be a long walk; at Ouch, we normally do the midday mile in about 20 minutes.

5. Put those gadgets away!

6. Is anything bothering you? Use this time to talk to your colleagues about any problems you might be having, it’s good for your mental health to get your worries off your chest.

7. Remember to take your wellies and raincoats to work, in case of wet weather.

8. Don’t forget your sun cream in the summer!

9. Get to know more people; say hello and ask people if they are OK, you never know what new friends you will gain.

My anxiety has really improved just by getting that little bit of headspace every day. I am more proactive and refreshed for the afternoon’s work.

I’m lucky enough to live in Wimborne too and at the weekend, I still go out for a midday mile. My daughter comes with me, she is 5. We really enjoy walking together and she has learnt about the bugs, birds, and animals that live along the river.

Please have a look at our midday mile page to see how you could kick-start a middyday mile initiative in your workplace. We also talk about midday miles on our mental health courses please have a look at our mental health courses page for more information.

Thank you for reading

Andrea Saunders