A walk and a smile

In the second chapter of Born to Walk, which focuses on how walking can address mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, research conducted by University of Glasgow epidemiologist Richard Mitchell provides the scientific basis for many of my arguments. I spent some time walking around Glasgow with Rich, whose work explores the roles urban environments can…

Trespassing Across America

Back in my magazine editing days, we received a story pitch from a photographer who planned to fly atop the entire route of the proposed Gateway pipeline, from Alberta to the British Columbia coast. The photographer, a Canadian member of the International League of Conservation Photographers, wanted to document the landscape that would have been impacted by…

Safe schools

Two years ago, while doing research and reporting for my book, I joined an Active & Safe Routes to School walkabout at an elementary school in Ottawa. The intervention, part of a program led by a national non-profit called Green Communities Canada, is part of a process that involves collecting travel behaviour data, traffic observation…

Spring walk

“Tired of winter and can’t wait to get out and smell the fresh earth and hear the first sounds of spring? There couldn’t be a better way to experience spring’s emergence than a walk in the woods.” So say the good folks at the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, who have invited me to do a walk…

Treadmill residency wrap-up

Now that February’s snow is turning into March puddles, it’s time to start booking walking meetings outside on the Rideau Canal pathways and end the official portion of my treadmill desk writer-in-residence post in the Discovery Centre at Carleton University. Throughout February, I met with students and staff — including Samantha Munro, the university’s Healthy Workplace Coordinator, pictured…

DIY treadmill desk

Carleton University cognitive science professor Jim Davies, director of the Science of Imagination Laboratory and the author of Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe, had never used a treadmill desk before he built one about two years ago. “I decided I wanted one,” he says, “and just made it.” Davies,…

Treadmill writer-in-residence

Next month, I’m taking another step in my campaign to fuse the worlds of walking and writing. I am becoming the world’s first treadmill desk writer-in-residence! How does one become a treadmill desk writer-in-residence, you might ask? And: what on earth does it mean? Well, read on and I’ll attempt to answer those questions. But the…

Walk talks

Although the fall is a lovely season for hitting the trail, or wandering around a city, it’s also a time when we begin to retreat indoors. Autumn in Canada brings an array of conferences and festivals — and thankfully, for an obsessive walker, some of these events are a great showcase for my favourite subject. I’ll…