I love walking but I wasn’t surprised to hear that a third of Britons wouldn’t consider walking for more than 20 minutes to get from A to B. It’s not surprising either that 28% of children haven’t been out on a country walk in the past year. Parents’ inactivity leads to children’s inactivity and becomes a worrying precedent for future generations.
As the Ramblers gets ready for its short walks festival (3 – 10 May), the results of a YouGov survey have revealed an alarming 34% of people said that the maximum time they would consider walking for when planning a journey would be 20 minutes or less.
The survey also discovered that only 40% of adults surveyed are walking more than the recommended amount and, worryingly, more than a quarter of people (26%) are only walking, on average, for an hour or less per week. With such shocking results, the Ramblers is calling for people to park their cars and get out more on foot.
The Ramblers knows walking is the simplest solution to tackling this physical inactivity pandemic and is encouraging people to take to their feet during Get Walking Week.
Benedict Southworth, chief executive of the Ramblers, said: “Walking is such an easy way for people to meet the recommended guidelines of getting 150 minutes of exercise per week, so it’s really worrying that inactivity levels are so high.
“During Get Walking Week we are asking people to think about how they can walk more. Making short journeys on foot is an easy way to incorporate physical activity into everyday life - rather than automatically jumping in the car or on the bus, use your feet instead.
“To help people take their first steps we are offering hundreds of free short walks during Get Walking Week. You don’t need any special equipment to join in, so why not find a walk near you and walk towards a healthier and happier lifestyle.”
Ramblers groups will be leading walks across Great Britain for everyone to enjoy.
In England, Walking for Health, England’s largest network of health walk schemes, run by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support, will also be inviting people to walk, to help them get walking and keep walking.
Most people have some green space near them, but even if you don’t simple things like walking to the shops, or walking the children to school, instead of taking the car all help. It’s surprising how much more you notice when you walk instead of drive.
I’m heading out into the Erddig Country Park now.
As John Muir Said: “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks”.
For more information about Get Walking Week, please visit www.ramblers.org.uk/getwalkingweek.