Ten minutes of quick walking will have more benefits than trying to achieve ten thousand steps say experts.
Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of GPs are encouraging adults in Cheshire and the North West to concentrate on walking to improve their health.
Experts are saying as little as ten minutes of brisk walking a day will help to protect an individual's health, reducing the risks of heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers.
It's estimated that three million middle-aged adults are physically inactive across the country. As part of the push to get adults doing more moderate intensity physical activity, PHE is asking people to focus on walking rather than the number of steps they're covering.
Moderate intensity physical activity means getting the heart rate up and breathing faster, and just ten minutes of brisk walking a day can reduce the risk of early death by up to 15% according to experts.
A survey by PHE of perceptions of physical activity in the North West found that:
- Many adults struggle to fit in exercise. Not having enough time (30%) was the main reason cited, followed by not feeling motivated (25%) and being too tired (27%).
- Over half of adults (54%) think more than 240 minutes of exercise per week is required to see general health benefits – nearly double the recommended guidance of at least 150 minutes – and one in seven (14%) think that more than 420 minutes per week is required (an hour per day)
- Nearly nine in 10 (87%) say they walk more than 10 minutes per day, however this drops to just over half (52%) who say they walk briskly for this amount of time.
Dr Juliet McGrattan, PHE North West Physical Activity Champion, said: “Walking at a brisk pace for 10-minutes or more – rather than aiming for a number of steps throughout the day – has undeniable additional health benefits.
“Regardless of your age and activity level, I’d advise everyone to find ways of including a 10-minute brisk walk during their day as it’s a simple and effective way of being more active. If you’re taking medication for a long-term health condition, you’ll notice even more benefits from walking briskly for 10-minutes.”
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