AN increasing number of Scots are using walking as a means to boost their mental health and beat their winter woes. 

According to the 2023 National Survey of Attitudes to Walking and Wheeling in Scotland, respondents citing mental health as a motivation for walking rose from 78% in 2019 to 84% last year.

Louise Bursle, communications and marketing manager at Paths for All, which commissioned the survey, said: "A brisk winter walk releases feel-good endorphins that can help relieve stress and boost your mood.

"The results from the 2023 survey are very encouraging. They show that more and more Scots recognise the incredible benefits that walking brings to both their physical and mental health."

“Walking with friends or family also gives you that social connection we all need for good mental health. So, we encourage everyone across Scotland to get outside, enjoy nature, and walk off the winter blues.”

The survey further revealed that 80 per cent of Scots agree that walking helps them relax, while 77 per cent admit it clears their head and encourages concentration.

The survey also suggested that although the physical health benefits are more widely recognised and often a key motivator to increasing walking, more people described the emotional and wellbeing benefits of regular walking.