Walking not only makes you feel alive, it is also helping to keep you alive according to new research studies. Fresh evidence has emerged that just a little bit of exercise, such as 20 minutes brisk walking a day, is extremely beneficial, regardless of whether people are overweight/obese or not.
A lack of exercise could be killing twice as many people as obesity in Europe, a 12-year study of more than 300,000 people suggests. The researchers said that of the 9.2 million deaths in Europe in 2008, about 676,000 were down to inactivity, compared with 337,000 from carrying too much weight.
Of course, obesity and inactivity often go hand in hand. However, it is known that thin people have a higher risk of health problems if they are inactive. And obese people who exercise are in better health than those that do not.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in Jan 2015 and undertaken through a partnership between the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and a long list of other collaborators, attempted to tease out the relative dangers of inactivity and obesity. Researchers followed 334,161 Europeans for 12 years. They assessed exercise levels and waistlines and recorded every death. The activity levels of participants were categorised using the activity undertaken across all aspects of life: occupational, recreational and household. The greatest risk of an early death was in those classed inactive, and that was consistent in normal weight, overweight and obese people.
This is another piece of the mounting evidence suggesting that physical activity needs to be recognised as a very important public health strategy. The World Health Organisation has identified a lack of physical activity as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, being directly implicated in 6% of deaths worldwide.
According to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, regular physical activity can improve academic attainment and healthy development in children and young people, improves productivity and health outcomes in young and middle aged adults, whilst maintaining functional independence in older adults. Regular physical activity helps maintain good mental and physical health, and helps prevent over 40 chronic diseases.
Outdoor walking groups have a key role to play, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in January 2015. This review and meta-analysis provides evidence that outdoor walking groups have health benefits over and above making people more physically active. Statistically significant improvements were found in a range of widely used measures of health including blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat, cholesterol, depression and quality of life for physical functioning.
So...what’s not to love about walking?
20 January 2015
Physical activity and all-cause mortality study, Dr Ulf Ekelund et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 14 January 2015
Global health risks: mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2009.
Maintaining health and treating illness through regular physical activity; a position statement produced by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, 07 January 2015
Is there evidence that walking groups have health benefits?, Sarah Hanson and Andy Jones, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 19 January 2015
Google Play 2018
Loving this app. Initially had a few glitches but these all went away after a bit of tweaking the settings. I have used the app for 6 walks so far and have discovered lovely local walks that I would have never known about. The walk descriptions and directions have been really accurate. The live map has been helpful in checking that I haven't gone off course.
Newsletter Feedback 2018
Just completed my first walk using the @ifootpathuk app on my phone. A nice walk and we didn't get lost (as I have no sense of direction whatsoever that is high praise!) #hiking #Snowdonia #walking #adventure
Twitter Feedback 2018
Google Play Review 2018
Super fast help to sort out my problem. Well done and nice friendly reply as well.
Help Centre August 2018
Super fast help to sort out my problem. Well done and nice friendly reply as well.
iOS Appstore November 2017
Great App - never get lost! by The Parallax View Best couple of quid I’ve spent in a long time. Walks are well described & it’s easy to see if you’ve wandered off the mapped tracks via GPS. Degree of difficulty is useful too - can choose a 2 Welly, 5 mile walk with a pub at the end for a relaxing Sunday.
Email November 2017
Wow what a lovely experience it was using your app worked perfectly from the off for the first time found walks nearby we would have never found, brilliant work guys and gals.
This is a great app. Easy to use. Great selection of walks and very uncomplicated instructions, good simple maps. Other walking apps I have tried can be very confusing, this one is just right. Thank you
I used the app for the first time this afternoon. I lead regular ‘Walking for Health’. The app is terrific!
I do a lot of solo walking...so always worry about safety and getting lost.....not anymore I don't...!!!!! The guides are always spot on....and that's what I do.just follow the blue spot...!!! Thank you.... It's my favourite app...!!!!
My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
Without doubt the best app that I have ever downloaded! - NT
This App is brilliant. It enables you to track your walks and download them for future reference. The Library provides you with a variety of walks and are supported by clear instructions and photographs along the route. This makes them very easy to follow. I have used the App for about two years and have found it invaluable. Should you have any queries about any aspect of iFootpath the support you get is second to none.
Absolutely beautiful walk, and a wonderful app. Thank you so much :)
I want to congratulate you on your web site/app performance, quick, reliable and easy to use. I have similar walking apps with OS Maps and ViewRanger but yours is best.
This app has totally changed my life, i absolutely love it. I did this walk yesterday, what a beautiful walk it is, i thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely do it again, in fact i met an older gentleman who was on his 100 and something time there!! My sister and daughter cant wait to come along. The noise mentioned about the motorway is negligible and for me did not detract from the overall walk at all, the view from the top was stunning!!
So far I have downloaded 5 walks and completed 3 of them, tomorrow will be No 4. I love your website The walk descriptions are the best I have used in the last six years of rambling since I retired. This is a website I would be more than happy to pay a subscription for, instead I'll donate a sum to my favourite charity. THANK YOU.
Have deleted Pokemon Go and downloaded @ifootpathuk which is much more 'me'
I love the illustrated descriptions of each walk section. Really helps to enjoy the walk and get to know something about what I'm seeing. So much better than apps that only provide GPS co-ordinates and no photos or description. Love it!
After trying out numerous other apps I came across this one: way ahead of any of the others in every way. Much more accurate and very easy to use with great features. Would highly recommend it as THE app to use for walking.
Just wonderful, with walks for everyone: the fit, the not-so-fit, short walks, long walks, through woods, up hills (and down).
I highly recommend it, as my mum and I use it to go for walks and finish by eating at a pub. Its detailed and sometimes humorous instructions lead us easily to our destination. Also, to top this, it has interesting facts about the area we're walking in
I don't review much but this app deserves it. Downloaded some really good walks and the combination of the good descriptions and the really useful map of the walk showing where you are make it a brilliant tool. Well done and keep up the good work.
Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
Used app while visiting (it was great!)--live in Texas. Thanks!
Your app and walks are a dream to use
Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!