Employers can help to relieve stress among their workers by encouraging them to walk to work instead of travelling by car or public transport, it has been claimed.

According to Living Streets, walking to work is beneficial for the health and mental wellbeing of employees as it provides physical activity, fresh air and relaxation.

The organisation has launched a new campaign called Walking Works to promote the benefits of walking to commuters across the country.

It cites a study which suggests that employers can cut staff absenteeism by up to half if their workers take part in 90 minutes of exercise a week.

Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Living Streets, said the average employee took seven days off sick in 2006, costing the UK economy £13.4 billion.

"Improving the health of those working in your organisation is a real and worthwhile way to reduce this burden," he remarked.

Earlier this year, the sustainable transport charity Sustrans launched a similar campaign to get more employees cycling to work.