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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a park walk imageJune 7 2018

Public Health England is encouraging adults to focus on walking briskly rather than just counting steps to improve their health.

Relaunching the Active 10 public health campaign, PHE and the Royal College of General Practitioners are encouraging adults to incorporate brisk walking into their days as a way to improve their general health and wellbeing. This modifies the guidance to focus on intensity, rather than distance or number of steps under the old advice of taking 10,000 steps daily.

“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%,” said PHE.

A new ‘Active 10’ app has been created which combines intensity and time, rather than just distance.

PHE has also published findings from a survey looking at people’s perceptions of physical activity suggesting that a possible misunderstanding of how much activity is required during the week is deterring people from exercise. It 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%);
  • 50% of adults think more than 240 minutes of exercise per week is required to see general health benefits, rather than the recommended guidance of at least 150 minutes;
  • 15% incorrectly think that more than 420 minutes per week is required (an hour per day);
  • 87% say they walk more than 10 minutes per day, however, this drops to 54% who say they walk briskly for this amount of time.

Professor Paul Cosford, Medical Director at PHE, said: “The Active 10 app gives you a clear picture of the intensity of your walk. Taking a brisk 10-minute walk each day will get your heart pumping, improve your mood and lower the risk of serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.”

Links:
PHE announcement      
PHE ‘Brisk walking and physical inactivity in 40 to 60 year olds’ 
Today’s Pharmacist coverage of Active 10 campaign resources for pharmacy      

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