In National Walking Month 2012, the UK public collectively logged 128,271 miles – that’s 146.76 times between Land’s End and John O’Groats. Workplaces logged 70,000 miles during Walk to Work Week alone!
However, not everyone is enjoying the benefits. National Travel Survey results published in December 2012 showed a 24% decline in the number of walking trips per person since the mid-90s.
This trend is being passed on to children. Over the past couple of decades, the number of children walking to school has fallen sharply. In 2011, 49 per cent of primary school aged children and 38 per cent of secondary school aged children walked to school, down from 62 per cent of primary and 48 per cent of secondary school aged children in 1991.
As well as the escalating financial cost, physical inactivity now rivals smoking as a leading risk factor for global mortality.
The national charity Living Streets want to turn this around in May, and encourage people to walk more by logging their walks to school, on the commute to work, or even taking the dog for a walk round the park.
Free registration for National Walking Month opens from April 1.
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Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Living Streets, said:
“This May, we want to get the whole of the UK buying a ticket to stride. As part of National Walking Month we’ll be asking employees and school children to give walking a go for at least a week.
“It can be as simple as walking all or part of the journey to school, stepping out of the office for a lunchtime walk, or getting off the bus a few stops earlier on your way home from the office.
“You don’t need costly gym sessions, or marathon running attempts to get fit and active. Walking is a free and easy way to work more exercise into your daily routine, and logging your walks on www.livingstreets.org.uk this National Walking Month is a great way to get started.”
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