British Heart Foundation is urging people to get active this summer as it publishes a report that shows that the UK is lagging behind its European counterparts.
The report ranks 28 EU countries in respect of the proportion of adults stating that they do 'no moderate physical activity at all'. The UK is ranked 16th out of 28 countries, with 44% of adults reporting that they had done no moderate physical activity during the week leading up to the survey (with moderate physical activity being defined as activities such as carrying light loads, cycling at a normal pace or low intensity sport like doubles tennis). The best performing EU country was the Netherlands (with just 14% of adults doing no moderate physical activity during that week) and the worst performing countries were Malta and Cyprus (both with 70% of adults doing no moderate physical activity during that week).
The report also looked at the time spent on different types of physical activity, including walking, in England. It showed that on average men walk for 2.7 hours per week, while women walk for 2.5 hours per week. The demographic group in England who do the most walking are women aged 35-44 who report walking for an average of 3.4 hours per week. Sadly, more than half of England’s adults (54%) report walking for less than 10 minutes per week.
Catherine Kelly, Director of Prevention, Survival and Support at the BHF, said: “The report’s figures are a worrying indication of the overall picture of our nation’s heart health. Alongside funding research into improving outcomes for heart patients, we need to create environments that make it easier for people to better understand and cut their risk of heart disease. BHF research has shown that even making small, more active changes to your daily routine can improve your heart health. With the warmer nights and lighter evenings, the summer is the perfect opportunity for people to start to make these changes.”
At iFootpath we’re on a mission to help change these figures. We aim to make walking fun and accessible to everyone, of all ages and all backgrounds including those that have never set foot in the countryside before. Start with a town trail if the countryside seems like a scary prospect. We’re sure you will soon catch the walking bug.
8 June 2015