This report is an extensive overview of the mounting research into the life threatening consequences of inactivity, which concludes that walking is the answer.
One of the simplest, longest-running and most effective interventions to encourage walking is Walking for Health, England’s largest network of health walk schemes. Thoroughly tried and tested since it launched in 2000, Walking for Health is now run by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support. Its 600 schemes across England offer free, short walks led by friendly, trained walk leaders.
Walking for Health overcomes a recognised barrier to becoming more active by providing opportunities for social contact. This is the top motivator for many participants and a mental health benefit in itself. Walking for Health is particularly successful at keeping older people active, and can help stop what is otherwise often a rapid decline in physical activity with age. For councils, health commissioners and other organisations interested in improving public health, supporting a health walks scheme under the Walking for Health umbrella contributes not only to the major health challenge of tackling the physical inactivity epidemic, but also to numerous other local and national policy objectives.
Read the report here