The campaign focuses on long-term behaviour change and is calling on people to walk to work or school by leaving the car so they reap the health and environmental benefits.
It builds on previous walking campaigns to inspire people who are travelling less than two miles to walk. It aims to create better health and safer travel, cut carbon emissions and deliver more pleasant communities.
Going for a regular walk can contribute to the recommended 30 minutes of daily activity required to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Humza Yousaf said: “Walk day Wednesday is a great incentive for people to pick one day of the week to get active, to leave the car and make those short journeys on foot, whether to work or to the local shop.
“The environmental benefits of walking are already well known, so we’re also highlighting the positive impact on physical health, mental wellbeing and general quality of life. Even this modest change can make a difference.
“The Scottish Government continues to encourage modal shift from cars and towards active and sustainable transport options. We have put in place record investment in walking and cycling, with over £176 million invested in active travel since the start of the 2011 spending review.
“We will continue to work with stakeholders to seek support for our longer term aspirations to increase the uptake of walking and cycling for shorter everyday journeys.”
The campaign coincides with other walking initiatives running this month including Walk to School Week, National Walking Month and the Step Count Challenge.
Ian Findlay, chief officer of Paths for All, said: “We are delighted to support the Walk Day Wednesday campaign to encourage everyone to enjoy the benefits of walking for short journeys. Walking everyday is the easiest way for everyone to fit some activity into their daily lives. It is good for a healthy body and mind, as well as the environment.”
Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, said: “We fully support any initiative to encourage people to walk more short, everyday journeys. The launch of Walk Day Wednesday during Living Streets’ National Walking Month comes at a great time to highlight the big benefits small steps can make.”