New data reveals how much time we spend walking
PUBLISHED: 08:23 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:23 12 February 2018
New figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) reveal the walking habits of people across the region.
The data comes from the Active Lives Survey, which is conducted annually, and asks people from across the country about their levels of physical activity.
The survey reveals Norwich has some of the most active walkers in the country, while only 43pc of people in Breckland walk continuously for 10 minutes on a weekly basis - the second lowest levels in the country.
Breckland does match the national average of weekly leisure walkers, at 41pc, while all other districts in East Anglia top it, with Suffolk Coastal the highest at 65pc.
Despite the comparatively high numbers of leisure walkers across the region, more than a quarter of people do less than 30 minutes a week of activity of any variety.
Ben Jones, director of Active Norfolk, said it was important to find ways of fitting exercise into increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
He said: “These figures reflect the on-going challenge of incorporating physical activity into our daily lives, which have become increasingly sedentary both in the workplace and at home.
“Finding ways to fit physical activity into our daily routines, from incorporating activity as part of your commute, or as part of your work day routine, is important to not only protect our long-term health, but it can also help to improve our mood, alleviate anxiety, and help us sleep better.
“Walking is just one of many ways that people can be physically active, and we’re lucky here to have so many opportunities to be active outdoors.”
The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines advise that adults should aim to complete at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week - where heart rate is increased but the participant is still able to hold conversation.
Brisk walking is recommended as an accessible and effective means of reaching this target and decreasing the risk of high blood pressure, stress and type 2 diabetes.
Regularly walking is also linked with maintaining a healthy weight and the latest figures from Public Health England show that more than half of adults across East Anglia are overweight or obese, with highs of 67pc in Waveney and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.