Walking briskly for 10 minutes each day can be just as effective as hitting the 10,000 steps a day target, say health experts.
Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) are encouraging people to try and incorporate brisk walking into their daily routine to reduce their risk of early death by 15%.
‘Managing all the pressures of everyday life can mean that exercise takes a back seat, but building a brisk walk into your daily routine is a simple way to get more active,’ said Paul Cosford, medical director at PHE.
A survey from PHE found that 31% of adults struggle to find the time to fit in exercise, 27% report not feeling motivated to exercise and 25% are too tired to exercise.
Of these adults, 87% say they walk more than 10 minutes a day but this drops to 54% when asked if they walked briskly for this amount of time.
Current levels of physical inactivity impact public health and it’s estimated that it contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK – costing the NHS £0.5 billion per year.
‘Small, often simple, lifestyle changes can have a really positive impact on our health and wellbeing, so anything that encourages patients to live better, and move more is a good thing,’ said Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the RCGP.
‘There has been a substantial rise in the number of patients who have developed multiple, long-term conditions in recent years, and many of these, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, are linked to not being active enough.’
The UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) recommend that people take part in 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity – which has been linked to several health benefits such as lowered risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.