National charity Living Streets is encouraging the nation to leave their cars at home and take to the streets as part of the first National Walking Month during May 2012.
Living Streets says that despite being the cheapest and simplest form of transport, and an effective form of exercise, the benefits of walking seem to be ignored or unappreciated by many.
Only 12% of commuters walk to work, with the vast majority using their cars instead. A quarter of people admit to walking for 20 minutes at a time less than once a year. But it’s not just adults whose walking levels are low, as over the past couple of decades the number of children walking to school has fallen sharply. 28% of children are now driven to school despite the fact that 95% of primary school children live within easy walking distance of their school.
Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Living Streets, said: “Getting fit and active doesn’t have to mean costly gym sessions, or marathon running attempts – there is a free and easy way to work more exercise into your daily routine, and it is often overlooked – give yourself a daily dose of walking.
“The benefits of walking more are huge and not only for your health. Walking can provide time to plan for the day ahead, or to unwind after it. It can be as simple as walking all for part of the journey to school, stepping out of the office for a lunchtime walk, or getting off the bus a few stops earlier on your way home from the office.”
Living Streets is also encouraging people to join its annual initiatives, Walk to Work Week (09 – 13 May) and Walk to School Week (16 – 20 May).
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