World Walking

WORLD WALKING – get 2015 off on the right foot. An initiative developed in Glasgow by Duncan Taylor, a BACPR exercise instructor in Greenock. He formed a group – “Inverclyde Globetrotters” – to encourage active walking between cardiac rehab classes and to promote the benefits of programs. He is now planning a ‘walk around the world’.


To virtually walk round the world to promote the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation.


To show the world how much of a difference cardiac rehabilitation can make by encouraging people to remain physically active after a heart event.

We wish to use the opportunity of this challenge to raise the profile of cardiac rehabilitation in the media and with Government. If we can pull this off it may well be the longest heart health walk ever undertaken and the first to circumnavigate the globe involving partner organisations on all continents. Even if is isn’t we reckon it will be fun and give us all something to ‘put our heart and soul into’.


CRIGS has teamed up with the Inverclyde Globetrotters, CHSS, BACPR, and the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow. The Inverclyde Globetrotters will create a worldwide route on their World Walking website based on countries that are members of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.

A group will be created on World Walking specifically for the challenge. All national associations will be invited to participate and encourage cardiac rehabilitation classes and groups around the globe to record the steps/distances they walk during the challenge and that together we will walk round the world in one week!


The walk will be held next February to coincide with the AACVPR’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Week.

What happens next?

Nearer the time we’ll send you a link which will make it easy for you to sign up your service to take part.

What can you do?

Start to think up ways to take part, for example:

  • Encouraging your patients to record how many steps they walk during the week of the challenge;
  • Noting the distances clocked up on treadmills, cycles, rowing machines etc. by your patients during your classes ; or
  • For circuit classes, inviting one patient to wear a pedometer and then simply multiply the number of steps which he/ she clocks by the number of patients in the class.

You could also begin to think of how you might use your participation in this challenge to generate some local publicity for your service.

This event will provide a fun way to get the word out again about the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and the message that it can really make a world of a difference. We’d love to have your support.

Check out the website

To register your interest, please email

Heart health exercise can truly make a world of a difference

This is the story of the Inverclyde Globetrotters.

Our continuing mission:

  • To explore new worlds
  • To seek out new friends
  • To boldly go where no cardiac rehabilitation class has gone before.

I am delighted to have this opportunity to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it.

So who are the Inverclyde Globetrotters?

The Inverclyde Globetrotters were formed 6 years ago from 26 ACRA Newsletter March 2014 our weekly Phase IV cardiac rehabilitation class in Greenock, 25 miles west of Glasgow.

We’re now one of many classes delivered through the Live Active Exercise Referral Scheme that operates in our area. We now cater for a variety of conditions – although we still have more than our fair share of by-passes, stents and pacemakers.

Our average age is over 65 and one or two of us are in their 80s.

It is a widely known fact that as soon as someone is asked to walk on a treadmill time immediately slows down and they mistakenly think that by staring at the clock on the machine they can will it to go faster.

So, to address this problem, in February 2008 our members were asked a question by our instructor – “Do you fancy walking round the world?” – Not the kind of question you get asked every day. Luckily, once we had stopped laughing at the very idea of it we agreed to have a go.

Our approach is very simple. It’s certainly not new. But it’s given us a lot of fun. The hope was that our walk round the world would encourage us to stay active between classes.

It was also hoped that achieving a long term goal – a journey that would take years to complete – would provide a real sense of accomplishment.

We gratefully accepted a box of pedometers from the cardiac rehabilitation team at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, bought a map and set off on our virtual journey round the world. We timed the start our walk to coincide with the launch of the 2008 Scottish campaign to promote cardiac rehabilitation. It was our way of saying thanks.

Contact was made with Olympic rowing legends, Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent, more in hope than expectation, to ask if they would be kind enough to send a few words of encouragement and they did!

Each week pedometers were handed over and steps recorded and distances walked, cycled and rowed during the class captured. We tallied up our figures on a spreadsheet and plotted our progress on our map.

And two things happened.

  1. We began to look at the distance screen on the machine instead of the clock; and
  2. We became a team.

In May 2010, after 117 weeks on the road, having made it to Beijing in time for the 2008 Olympics, we arrived back in Greenock having clocked up 30,688 miles. And we’re still going. We’ve just walked our 250 millionth step! We can’t believe it.

Our virtual travels have seen us clock up over 105,000 miles to over 100 countries worldwide so far. But it’s not all about steps and miles – it’s about having fun.

We’ve made lots of friends along the way who have encouraged, supported and inspired us to keep going. We didn’t think about any of that when we set off. We just went for a walk.

So what lessons have we learned?

  • We’ve learned that using pedometers to accomplish virtual walks around the world can be fun and can help develop a sense of community and achievement.
  • We’ve learned that you never know where you your journey will take you when you take that first step and who you might meet along the way.
  • We’ve learned that there are lots of people out there willing to help;
  • We’ve also learned again that cardiac rehabilitation can indeed make a world of a difference.

If you’re looking for that little bit extra motivation and fancy exploring our amazing world as you walk to work, walk with friends or walk to health you can join us on where you’ll find a range of virtual walks from taking in the sights of top cities to trekking across a continent.

Hopefully, we’ll bump into you on your travels.

Duncan Galbraith
Trail Leader – World Walking

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