Officials from Public Health England report that roughly 6 million middle-age people in England are putting their health at risk simply because they do not do so much as take at least one brisk walk per month.
Government advisors in England warn that lifestyle habits, in the last few decades, have reduced physical activity by 20 percent since the 1960s. Even short trips—which could be potentially hoofed, without much difference in time—are now being taken with cars.
Their research, which looked at nearly 200,000 adults, found that nearly 50 percent of middle-aged men and nearly 40 percent of middle-aged women, do not even take one brisk ten minute walk in any 30 day period. More importantly, the percentage of these “trips” has fallen by roughly 20 percent in the past 20 years.
As surge, the British government is now urging all Britons to make incremental changes by using a new, free app—called Active 10—that can help not only set activity targets, but become more consistent at meeting them.
Dr Jenny Harries, is the deputy medical director at Public Health England. She explains: “Walking to the shops instead of driving or going for a brisk 10-minute walk on your lunch break each day can add many healthy years to your life. The Active 10 app is a free and easy way to help anyone build more brisk walking into their daily routine.”
Professor Sir Muir Gray is the clinical adviser for the Active 10. He commends not only the research conducted by the PHE but also in their support for using technology to help improve the lives of Britons.
Sir Gray comments, “We all know physical activity is good for your health, but for the first time we’re seeing the effects that easily achievable changes can make. By walking just 10 continuous minutes at a brisk pace every day, an individual can reduce their risk of early death by 15 per cent.”
He also notes, “They can also prevent or delay the onset of disability and further reduce their risk of serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia and some cancers.”
For the sake of consistency, you should know that the researchers consider a “brisk walk” is a stroll at a rate of about three miles per hour, and should be for at least ten minutes at a time. However, government officials recommend that, for optimal health, adults only need about two and a half hours of moderate-to-intense physical activity per week.