Focus on brisk walking, not just 10,000 steps, say health experts

Public Health England and the Royal College of GPs are encouraging adults to focus on walking briskly rather than just counting steps to improve their health.

With an estimated 3 million middle-aged adults physically inactive across the country,[1],[2] Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) are encouraging adults to incorporate brisk walking into their days as a way to improve their general health and wellbeing.

As part of the push to get adults doing more moderate intensity physical activity each day, health experts are encouraging people to increase the intensity of their walking, rather than just focus on the distance or number of steps.

Moderate intensity physical activity means getting the heart rate up and breathing faster. Just 10 minutes of brisk walking a day is an easy way for adults to introduce more moderate intensity physical activity into their day and reduce their risk of early death by up to 15%.[3]

To help adults do this, PHE’s ‘Active 10’ app has been created and it is the only app of its kind that combines intensity and time, rather than just distance.

Taking a 10 minute brisk walk each day can help build up towards the UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) recommendation of at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity. This has been linked to health benefits including a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

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