National Safe Work month this year is promoting work health and safety through COVID-19.

As COVID-19 has taken over much of 2020, its been difficult to find much motivation to be active when confined to the comfort of our own homes.

Until recently, this was the case for SMC Program Manager, Gavin Bolton who’d admittedly fallen into a bit of a rut during the COVID period.

“I’m usually an active walker. I’ve always liked my walking but probably up until August this year I was pretty inactive.”

Seeking to make a change to his daily routine, Gavin was presented with an opportunity.

“Every year I usually do the Seven Bridges Walk, but this year it was cancelled due to COVID,” Gavin said.

“One of my friends had posted on social media about STEPtember. I had decided I needed to start getting myself in shape, so I thought I’d participate as well.”

In September alone Gavin had raised more than $2180 and walked over 601,000 steps.

Off the back of a successful STEPtember, Gavin has decided to continue walking throughout the month of October this time raising money for the Black Dog Institute.

The Black Dog Institute is the only medical research institute in Australia dedicated to investigating mental health illnesses.

“I think with everything that has come out of the pandemic everyone is feeling the toll. I know mental health is critically important.”

Gavin arriving at the Lane Cove office. To get his kilometres in he has been walking to and from the office.

Gavin decided to continue adding more kilometres to his September achievement and set his goal of walking a total of 500 kilometres by the end of October.

However, the charitable cause alone is not what is motivating Gavin. He preaches of the benefits that have greeted him along his active journey.

“I think just getting out and about, getting the heart rate up and getting a bit of a sweat on is good.”

He describes the benefits the activity has brought to his work and overall health.

“I’m sleeping better, and I feel a lot more relaxed.”

As workers around Australia have had to adapt to a “COVID normal” Gavin says that walking-meetings is an initiative he would like to see incorporated more often.

“I tell my team that if they’re having a meeting and it’s not one that requires you to look at each other on camera to go out…get your headphones on and go for a walk in the park while you’re having the chat.”

“The other day I was on the phone for about three hours on different calls, but I was walking and moving the entire time.”

The health and safety of DM Roads employees is paramount importance and it is even more important now than ever to ensure we look after our mental and physical health.

Gavin has some advice for those in need of some motivation.

“I just want to try and encourage everybody that walking meetings are actually good. Its variety, it’s good for you and gives you a little bit of a relief from the monotony of sitting on Microsoft team meetings. A bit of fresh air, a bit of exercise – it’s good for the soul.”

Click links for more information on the Black Dog Institute and STEPtember.