Today sees the release of the results of the Sport England Active Lives survey which shows that walking remains the top activity across England, with 19.6 million people walking twice a week for leisure. And walking continues to grow in popularity, with 514,000 more people taking up walking for leisure in the 12 months from May 2018 to May 2019 - a 2.7 per cent increase.
In more good news, the survey reports their lowest ever recorded levels of inactivity, with an additional 12,000 people taking up regular activity. However, levels of activity are still worryingly high with 11.2 million people in England doing less than 30 minutes of activity per week, particularly among under-represented groups including people from BAME communities, those with disabilities and long-term health conditions, and older people.
Our chief executive, Vanessa Griffiths, said: "We're delighted that the latest Active Lives survey reports walking for leisure or travel as the most popular form of activity.
"We're also really pleased that a record number of people in England are now active each week; that the number of inactive people - doing fewer than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week - is now at the lowest figure ever recorded by the survey, and that the survey reflects the proven mental health benefits of being active.
"However, the survey's findings that if you're on a low income or less affluent you are less likely to be active is of concern. There are complex reasons for this, but walking is free and the Ramblers is committed to helping everyone find their feet - whether or not they have walked before - through programmes such as The Ramblers Walking For Health.
"Our UK-wide network of local groups also offers a warm welcome to anyone wanting to get into walking and connect with nature and the green spaces we help to protect."
Walking is proven to be the easiest way for inactive people to become active and through Ramblers Walking for Health and Ramblers Groups we have developed opportunities for all to walk.
Find out more about Walking for Health or find your nearest Ramblers group.