Brisk walking helps middle-aged people stay healthy

August 28, 2017

Middle-aged people, those between the ages 40 and 60, are being urged to start doing regular brisk walks to help them stay healthy and reduce the risk of early death.

Even 10 minutes of brisk walking each day could have a major impact and lower the risk of early death by 15%, according to officials at Public Health England.

They said the amount of activity people did started to decrease from the age of 40. They estimate that four out of every 10 40- to 60-year-olds do not even manage a brisk 10-minute walk each month.

To help, the government agency is promoting a free app called Active 10 which can monitor the amount of brisk walking an individual does and provide tips on how to incorporate more into the daily routine.

PHE deputy medical director Dr. Jenny Harries said: “I know firsthand that juggling priorities of everyday life often means exercise takes a back seat.But walking to the shops instead of driving, or going for a brisk 10-minute walk on your lunch break each day, can add many healthy years to your life.”

General practitioners (GPs) are also being encouraged to get their patients walking faster – defined as a walk of at least 3 miles per hour(mph) that leaves you breathing faster and increases your heart rate.

Dr. Zoe Williams, of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Every GP should talk to their patients about the benefits of brisk walking and recommend the Active 10 app.”

PHE is focusing on those in middle age, because of the drop in activity levels.

It is recommended that people do 150 minutes of activity a week, but nearly half of those aged 40 to 60 fail to achieve that and one in five does less than 30 minutes.

While a daily 10-minute brisk walk will not get them to the recommended level, it will be enough to start making a difference to high blood pressure, diabetes, weight issues, depression and anxiety and musculoskeletal problems such as lower back pain.

PHE also hopes by getting this age group active it will have a knock-on effect among those who have children.


Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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