For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Monday, 26 February 2018

Walking and mental health

I have been contacted by Ken Bromley Art Supplies who tell me they were interested to know how much art, as a pastime, may help to relieve stress, and as such a component in the treatment of mental health. 

They commissioned a survey of 2,000 UK adults where participants were asked to choose up to 3 activities which they believe are the best to reduce stress, and the results came up with the following list in volume order of replies. 

Having a Bath
Watching TV
Sport / fitness
Art and craft

Because walking was perceived as the most beneficial pursuit for the relief of stress I have been asked to write and comment.

I reckon on Conrad Walks I am preaching to the converted as far as walking is concerned, but it is interesting to know how beneficial it may be over and above other strategies for people with mental health problems. The charity MIND has a wealth of information majoring much on ECOTHERAPY

ECOTHERAPY as administered by MIND provides a wide range of assistance based on the outdoor activities to help with mental health problems, and that would be a useful starting point for anybody looking for help, or anybody wishing to support another in that situation.

From my own observations a lack of a particular goal may be a contributory factor to some mental health problems, and whilst walking in itself may be helpful it may be further enhanced by looking at the various tick-lists of hills, some of which would be relatively easy to embark on:  the English Marilyns, The Wainwrights,  The County Tops etc. See:

If you know of others who may be looking for advice with mental health it may be helpful to pass on a link to this post.


  1. I don't want to debase the serious and worthy tone and content of this post, but it seems to me that a considerable body of published opinion suggests that there is a very serious omission in this list, and which might easily 'top out' walking.

  2. needlesshaste - I was drawn into writing this post by a third party so it is not something that arose from my own thoughts, and it is not a subject I have any special knowledge of, albeit I do see it is a matter of serious consideration, and I felt it was something worthy of my modest support. I do not know what your enigmatic comment is referring to and perhaps you may wish to elaborate?

  3. My mother had a tried and trusted saying
    'the cure for this ill is not to sit still and froust with a book by the fire, but to take a large hole and a shovel also, and dig 'til you gently perspire'
    she was an exemplar, nay, a paradigm even, of the virtues of doing rather than mooning and moping
    I suppose that's also my view even if I don't always practice it (or art) !

  4. Gardening, cooking, cleaning/tidying and gaming (other than Solitaire) would be on my list of activities that induce stress. Avoiding ticking boxes on lists would, however, be beneficial.

    Creating lists is one way of reducing stress and I have often resorted to it. Lists absolve the compiler of wrestling with syntax that writing prose demands - a cop-out, in fact.

  5. gimmer - Your mother was a fine and wise person person in all respects.


    RR - I'm not sure if you chose your comments about lists because of my reference to them. I contend that if you adopt an established list such as I suggested, e.g.climbing the English Marilyns, and providing it is reasonably within your capabilities, it provides an objective which is more positive than random walking, and ticking off your conquests and watching your progress would hopefully be a morale booster. That is not the same as compiling a list yourself. I am well aware of that writing cop-out and as far as possible I consciously avoid using it.

    David lodge has a chapter on lists in The Art of Fiction using Nicole's fascinating shopping list from Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. He also includes examples of tabulated lists used by other established writers, but these are people who are using the technique for brilliant effect who know what they are doing.