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20 Walking and Hiking Snippets

Many of us love walking and find it good for mind, body and soul. Whether we walk to work, school or the shops, explore your local footpaths and parks or stride out in one of our beautiful national parks and AONBs, there is no doubt that walking is good for us. And from the feedback we receive at iFootpath, we know that whether you walk alone, with friends & family or your furry companions - people love walking.


Walking with friends

So here are a few snippets about one of our favourite activities.

  1. The verb ‘to walk’ dates back to Old English and originally meant ‘to roll’ or ‘go back and forth’ from the Old English wealcan. It could also mean ‘to curl one’s hair’. It came to be used mainly for moving around on foot from the 15th century onwards. Walking is also known as ambulation. Hiking is a general word for travelling on foot in the mountains or the countryside.
  2. The longest walk around the world was completed by a former neon-sign salesman, Jean Beliveau. He walked 46,600 miles around 64 countries. The trip took him 11 years.
  3. At a steady 3mph without stopping, it takes just under a year to walk the length of the equator or just over nine years to walk to the Moon.
  4. Research suggests that the average British child walks 12,000 to 16,000 steps a day.
  5. It would take on average one hour 43 minutes to burn off a 540-calorie Big Mac.
  6. In an average lifetime, a person will walk a distance equal to three times around the equator.
  7. Brisk walking helps reduce body fat, lower blood pressure, and increase high-density lipoprotein.
  8. Racewalking has been an official Olympic sport for over 90 years. Distances vary from 1 mile to 95 miles.
  9. The United States walks the least of any industrialised nation. The average Australian takes 9, 695 steps per day (just a few short of the ideal 10,000), the average Japanese takes 10,168; the average Swiss: 9,650; and the average American only 5,117.
  10. Given that the world is about 25,000 miles in circumference and that the average walking rate is 3 miles per hour, it would take a person walking nonstop approximately 347 days to walk around the world.
  11. The average human walking speed is about 3.1 miles per hour or 5.0 kilometres per hour.
  12. The proportion of adults walking at least once a week increased overall in England from 68% in 2015-16 to 69% in 2016-17.
  13. Humans became bipedal three to six million years ago. Scientists believe that humans started walking on two legs to better carry goods and to use energy more efficiently.
  14. Experts suggest walking 6,000 steps a day to improve health and 10,000 steps a day to lose weight.
  15. Around 11 per cent of people in the UK usually walk to work.
  16. A person burns essentially the same number of calories whether they run or walk a mile. Running just gets a person to a destination faster.
  17. The iFootpath website and App has more than 1,300 detailed UK walking guides, and new walks are added every week.
  18. Most babies begin to walk around 13 months, though some may start as early as 9 or 10 months and as late as 15 or 16 months.
  19. In the UK women on average walk further per year than men - 211 miles compared to 201 miles.
  20. Sleepwalking is called somnambulism (Latin somnus “sleep” + ambulare “to walk”). About 18% of the world suffers from somnambulism.




Walking and cycling statistics, England: 2017

UK walking guides search iFootpath

Other walking and hiking resources

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