A quarter of British adults walk for no more than an hour a week

Walking for Health group in Grimsby

A Walking for Health walk in Grimsby

The results of an online survey commissioned from YouGov reveal that a quarter of adults in Britain walk for an hour or less a week including everyday walking to the shops, work or school.

The West Midlands was revealed as the worst region for weekly walking with over a third of adults (34%) walking for no more than an hour a week, less time than any other region. The East Midlands came out as the best region for weekly walking however, with 59% of people doing enough to satisfy recommended physical activity guidelines, or more.

The UK’s most senior adviser on health recommends that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week however 43% of the more than two thousand people surveyed across Britain by YouGov said that they walked for only two hours or under a week.

Despite these alarming outcomes, an overwhelming majority (93%) of those who responded to the survey agreed that walking is a good form of exercise that can keep you healthy, an encouraging statistic which could turn the nation’s sedentary habits on their head.

But more needs to be done to help people include physical activity in their daily lives. Over half of those surveyed overestimated how much walking they needed to do to keep healthy with nearly a quarter (24%) reckoning they needed to do more than five hours of walking each week.

Walking is widely recognised as one of the easiest ways to put the Government’s health guidelines suggestion of doing 30 minutes’ exercise on five days a week into practice, whether it be making walking part of your commute or school run or replacing trips by car to the local shops.

During Get Walking Week from 4-11 May we’ll be helping people find out just how easy it is to discover the benefits of walking and the joys of getting outdoors and exploring their local area on foot with hundreds of short walks on offer across Britain.

Local Ramblers groups and Walking for Health schemes – England’s network of health walks run by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support – are inviting people to join them throughout the week on short easy walks up to five miles designed to help them get walking and keep walking.

“We want people all over Britain to join the walking revolution and take their first steps towards a healthier and happier lifestyle,” says Ramblers Chief Executive Benedict Southworth. “Walking is one of the most accessible and achievable ways to truly conquer this inactivity pandemic in Britain, and we need to get started now.”

Get Walking Week is supporting Britain on Foot, a call to encourage more people in Britain to get active in the great outdoors. Read more about Get Walking Week and other ways to keep walking in May or find out about our walking projects including Walking for Health, Medal RoutesTAKE 30 and Let's Walk Cymru.

Cotswold Outdoor