A weekly 10-minute walk is too much for more than 40 per cent of of people in Fenland, figures show
- Credit: Archant
More than 40 per cent of people in Fenland fail to walk for 10 consecutive minutes a week, according to the Department for Transport.
Figures from Sport England’s Active Lives Survey show that Fenland has one of the lowest rates of weekly walking in the county.
Public Health England has encouraged adults to walk for at least 10 minutes a day, but 43 per cent of people in the area don’t manage one 10-minute walk a week. The national average is 31 per cent.
A 10-minute walk could include walking to work or to the shops, as well as taking a walk specifically for recreation or exercise.
The annual Active Lives survey, which ran from November 2016 to November 2017, asked a random sample of 363 adults over the age of 16 in Fenland how active they had been in the past four weeks.
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Sport England, which conducted the survey, aims to help get everyone in England to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity.
It focuses much of its work on programmes that help people who do very little or no physical activity, and groups who are typically less active.
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In June, Public Health England and the Royal College of GPs launched a campaign to promote the health benefits of taking a brisk 10-minute walk every day.
PHE’s physical activity lead Dr Mike Brannan said: “While we’re starting to see more people being active, getting the nation moving presents a significant challenge and won’t be solved overnight.”
Dr Brannan said that being physically active reduces the risk of serious illnesses, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
“For most people, walking or cycling is the easiest way to be active,” he added. “Even a 10-minute brisk walk every day can make a real difference to your health.”
In Fenland people were more likely to walk as a leisure activity than for travel.
Some 43% of people said they took a recreational stroll at least once a week, compared with 30% that travelled at least once a week on foot.
The highest rate of weekly walking was found in Richmond and Wandsworth, where 83% of respondents took a ten-minute walk at least once a week.
In 2017 the Department for Transport announced it would be investing £1.2 billion of funding into helping more people to walk and cycle.
It is investing an extra £620,000 on outreach programmes to encourage children to walk to school.
Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “Cycling and walking provide enormous benefits to both public health and the environment, and it’s good to see evidence that people are opting for a more active lifestyle.
“But it is also clear that as a cycling and walking nation the UK has a long way to go to match the best international models.”