A recent survey by Cancer Research revealed that more than half of us walk less than 2,000 steps a day. If you're reading this, chances are you're either considering or you already participate in fitness on some level. But you're in the minority, as on an average day an alarming 52 per cent of the population covers less than a mile on foot. This couch potato lifestyle means Brits are hurtling towards ill health at a horrifying pace.
Half of all Brits don’t exercise
The walking poll follows the British Heart Foundation’s Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behaviour Report 2017, which found that in many parts of the country almost half of all adults are not meeting the government’s official health guidelines. The recommended amount is at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity every week, such as cycling or fast walking.
Are we on the verge of an epidemic?
The nations reluctance to exercise is turning into a major epidemic. 'It’s one of the most significant global health crises of the moment,' according to Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF.
'Levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in the UK remain stubbornly high,' he says. 'These two risk factors present a substantial threat to our cardiovascular health and risk of early death.'
In the Cancer Research survey, people were asked why they didn’t walk more. Around a third of the 2,198 adults polled said they didn’t have time, while a quarter blamed bad weather.
Leading an inactive lifestyle can lead to serious illnesses, including heart disease, cardiac arrest and stroke. Being overweight is linked to 13 types of cancer, and Cancer Research say that thousands of cases of cancer per year could be avoided by being more active. The best way to safeguard against these is to build some moderate exercise into your daily life, such as running, cycling or swimming.
Cancer Research UK aims to encourage more people to get moving with their Walk All Over Cancer challenge. If you're new to exercise, why not see if you can take 10,000 steps per day this June? That’s around 5 miles, or 8 kilometres.
To add a competitive element, click on your friend's profiles to compare weekly mileage and see how you measure up!