With Christmas just around the corner, national charity Living Streets has launched an im-mince-ly exciting project to get people walking, through their Walking Works campaign!

London 10/12/2008- We can all get carried away with a spot of feasting over the festive period, but with research showing that people gain an average of 5lbs in the four week Christmas period*, it is important that we know how to combat that pesky Christmas bulge. But never fear: Walking Works, a campaign funded nationwide by the Big Lottery Fund and in London by Transport for London, is here to help. With many of us office-bound all day, and government statistics showing we now jump in the car for over a fifth of journeys shorter than one mile, the Walking Works campaign highlights the role that walking can play in bringing some much needed fresh air into our daily lives, as well as burning off those excess Christmas tree-ats.

The revolutionary online mince pie walking calculator, available now at www.walkingworks.org.uk/calculator, uses scientific formulas to work out the number of calories you burn off when you walk, and rewards you for your effort in delicious mince pie points. The more you walk, the more mince pies you can either consume, or (even better) use as a measure to help you bask in the glow of your slender Christmas silhouette.

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Living Streets said:
“The mince pie walking calculator is a brilliant way of demonstrating how many calories you can burn by simply incorporating walking into your everyday commute, and what better way to be rewarded than by earning mince pie points!

The mince pie online calculator was developed by London based Web design agency Activate Media. Based on a brief developed with Living Streets, Activate specified, designed, programmed, and deployed this calculator on the Walking Works website in less than one month. This calculator utilises Flash for the interactive calculator, and PHP and MySQL for additional functionality within the application. Users are encouraged to register for “opt-in” to the mailing list when using the calculator and when they do; their names and emails are automatically added to the Living Streets News Letter system, which is integrated with the site Content management system, all ready for future communication.

Elliot Kahan, Director of Activate Media said:
“The mince pie walking calculator is a simple but highly effective way to drive interest in, and traffic to, the Walking Works site. It’s one of those simple things that makes people smile!”

Mince Pie Facts:

1. Centuries ago mince pies were large dishes filled with various meats, mixed with fruits, peels and sugar
2. In the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell made the eating of mince pies on Christmas day illegal. This was voted the 4th most ridiculous British law in 2007
3. English tradition demands that the mince meat mixture should only be stirred in a clockwise direction. To stir it anticlockwise is to bring bad luck for the coming year
4. Mince pies should always be eaten in silence
5. It is considered good luck to eat mince pies on each of the 12 days of Christmas, even luckier to eat one on each day in a different home.

* British Nutrition Foundation, 2007

Published on: 12:00AM on 10th December 2008