UK public bodies splurge taxpayers’ money to teach officials how to walk

February 20th, 2011 - 4:34 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 20 (ANI): Public bodies in the UK spent tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money telling officials how to walk, it has emerged.

The Department of Health, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Sport England have all paid for the services of Urbanwalks, reports the Daily Mail.

The company produces walking route guides to encourage employees to become more active. But some of the pamphlets also include advice on how to walk properly.

Others carry warnings about side effects of walking - ‘feeling warm, clammy and short of breath’.

In a section worthy of John Cleese in the Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks sketch, it advises walkers to keep their head centered and in line with their spine and to ensure their arm swing is natural.It also tells staff that ‘the heel should always touch the ground first with each stride, then the ball of the foot, then your toes - in that order’.

Emma Boon of the TaxPayers’ Alliance branded the leaflets ‘patronising codswallop’.

“This highlights everything that is wrong with the public sector’s attitude towards our money,” she said.

The Department of Health commissioned Urbanwalks to map out nine walking routes for staff at a cost of just over 16,000 pounds.

One leaflet for staff at its headquarters in London outlines three routes that take between 15 and 25 minutes. It advises that routes can be lengthened as ‘walking ability improves’.

The department has also purchased maps to instruct staff how they can walk to work from the nearest railway station.

Liverpool John Moores University commissioned Urbanwalks to devise ‘walk and talk’ routes to encourage staff to hold meetings outside.

Bosses at Sport England spent up to 10,000 pounds providing online maps for staff in nine regional offices.

The Welsh Assembly Government spent 30,000 pounds on dual-language routes for staff in Cardiff. (ANI)

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