Public Health England | June 2018 | Focus on brisk walking, not just 10,000 steps, say health experts
Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of GPs are encouraging adults to focus on brisk walking rather than counting the number of steps to improve their health.
As part of the push to get adults doing more moderate intensity physical activity each day, health experts are encouraging people to increase the intensity of their walking, rather than just focus on the distance or number of steps.
Moderate intensity physical activity means getting the heart rate up and breathing faster. Just 10 minutes of brisk walking a day is an easy way for adults to introduce more moderate intensity physical activity into their day and reduce their risk of early death by up to 15%. To help adults do this, PHE’s ‘Active 10’ app has been created and it is the only app of its kind that combines intensity and time, rather than just distance
A new survey by PHE looking at people’s perceptions of physical activity found that:
- many adults struggle to fit in exercise. Not having enough time (31%) was the main reason cited, followed by not feeling motivated (27%) and being too tired (25%)
- half of these adults (50%) 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 1 in 7 (15%) 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 (54%) who say they walk briskly for this amount of time
The current physical inactivity crisis also has a societal impact. In adults, physical inactivity contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK and costs the NHS over £0.5 billion per year (Source: Public Health England).
Further details about the new app from Public Health England is available here