The phenomenon of walking: diverse and dynamic
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Everyday walking is a far-reaching activity with the potential to increase health and wellbeing in the general public. From a phenomenological perspective, walking can be seen as a function of being-in-the-world, where the landscape, a sense of place, and the moment are closely entwined with the walker’s own lived experiences. Using interviews with 73 walkers in a medium-sized town in Norway, this article explores the phenomenon of everyday walking. The data illustrate the multiple ways in which people emphasise wellbeing and ascribe meaning to their walking experiences, and how these ways may vary significantly during a life course, from day to day, and even within a single walk. Insights from this study may prove useful to policymakers and administrative bodies in acknowledging people’s various needs and gains related to everyday walking, and hence for promoting a diversified management of walking within the field of health policy, as well as in urban planning for walkable cities.