70,000 people regularly walk with Walking for Health
We’re calling on the nation to get active with the launch of Walking Works, our joint report with Macmillan Cancer Support which explains how walking can help everyone lead longer, healthier and happier lives. Together with Macmillan we run Walking for Health, England’s largest network of health walks.
It’s an alarming truth but being inactive can take three to five years off your life and increase your chances of developing some cancers, heart disease or having a stroke by a quarter. In fact, inactivity is now as big a problem as smoking when it comes to the nation’s health.
But the solution is simple. As Walking Works - an extensive review of research into the life-threatening consequences of inactivity - explains, getting active saves lives and walking is one of the easiest ways to do it – and keep doing it too.
Not only could walking prevent 37,000 deaths every year, it also reduces the risk of developing serious illnesses including type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. And this is just some of the evidence which proves walking can help solve the inactivity crisis.
Walking Works encourages everyone, everywhere, to be more active – not only for our health but our happiness and wellbeing too. It also shows how Walking for Health is an important step towards tackling the nation’s inactivity problem.
Described as a “community-focused, supportive, engaging, affordable and inclusive programme” by Kevin Fenton, Director, Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, Walking for Health has been helping people discover walking for 13 years and has over 70,000 regular walkers.
“Walking for Health is already changing people’s lives in such a positive way, but it has the potential to change many more,” says Benedict Southworth, Ramblers Chief Executive. “We need to see greater investment in initiatives which support and promote walking as the most accessible and affordable way for people to get active.”
Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, agrees it’s time for action. “Inactivity is a nationwide epidemic that must be tackled now before it is too late,” says Devane. “Healthcare professionals need to ensure that they prescribe physical activity, such as walking, as an intrinsic part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Find out more about why walking works by downloading the report at walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkingworks.