37% of adults in South West walk less than ten minutes continuously each month

37% of adults in South West walk less than ten minutes continuously each month

Swindon Borough Council’s Public Health team is backing a new national activity campaign which aims to build 10 minutes of continuous brisk walking into people’s days as a simple way to improve their health.

Over 560,000 adults aged between 40 to 60 in the South West do not achieve ten minutes of continuous brisk walking over the course of a month and are missing out on health benefits, according to evidence reviewed by Public Health England (PHE).

Evidence shows that ten minutes of walking at a brisk intensity each day can help prevent cancer, heart disease and poor mental health.

It is also reported that physical inactivity amongst adults contributes to one in six deaths in the UK and is costing the NHS over £0.9 billion per year.

Public Health England is launching a new One You physical activity campaign to encourage people to do a brisk 10 minute walks with the ‘Active 10’ app.

Findings have also revealed how lifestyles have changed over time, showing that people in the UK are 20% less active now than they were in the 1960’s and on average walk 15 miles less a year than two decades ago. The nature of most modern, busy lives makes it difficult for many to find the time for enough exercise to benefit their health.

PHE’s new One You physical activity campaign is encouraging 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 lifestyles.

Taking at least one brisk ten minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%. Getting enough physical activity each week can also provide health benefits including a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes (by 40%), cardiovascular disease (by 35%), dementia (by 30%) and some cancers (by 20%).

Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult’s Health and Social Care, said: “Levels of physical activity in Swindon could be better with 27% of adults doing less than 30 minutes of exercise a week.

“We want to make sure people in the area have the tools they need to take simple steps to improve their health. I would urge anyone who wants to start getting active to begin by using the Active 10 app and simply incorporating a brisk 10 minute walk into your daily lives to gain real health benefits. The free app combines walking intensity and time, rather than just distance or steps.”

Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Medical Director at PHE, who previously worked as Director of Public Health in Swindon, 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.”

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.

The Active 10 app was developed by Public Health England in collaboration with The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and the National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine.

You can search ‘Active 10’ to download the free app or visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/active10 for more information.

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