By Natalie Healey
Taking a brisk walk for at least ten minutes every day can reduce your chances of an early death. But many adults aren’t managing this once a month, let alone seven times a week. Our busy, modern lives are making it difficult for many to find the time for exercise.
But that’s a big problem. It’s estimated that inactivity contributes to one in six deaths in the UK.
Findings from Public Health England show people in the UK are 20% less active now than they were in the 1960s and walk on average 15 miles less a year than two decades ago.
So the organisation has launched its One You physical activity campaign to encourage adults to build 10 minutes continuous brisk walking into their day as a simple way to improve their health.
The ‘Active 10’ app has been developed to show how much brisk walking a person is doing each day and how to incorporate more of it into their lives.
Taking at least one brisk ten minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%. This can lead to health benefits including a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes (by 40%), heart disease (by 35%), dementia (by 30%) and some cancers (by 20%).
The free app combines walking intensity and time, rather than just distance or steps and is the first of its kind. It helps people gradually introduce more activity into their daily routine, with goal setting advice and motivational tips. It has already helped 50,000 adults get more active.
Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Medical Director at PHE, said:
“I know first hand that juggling the priorities of everyday life often means exercise takes a back seat. Walking to the shops instead of driving or going for a brisk ten 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.”