One short walk per week is a step too far for almost a third of Bedford residents

Figures show we are even less likely to cycle than walk as well

Monday, 10th August 2020, 12:43 pm

Almost a third of adults in Bedford fail to take one short walk a week, new figures suggest.

Sport England's annual Active Lives Survey asked 545 residents between November 2018 and November 2019 how often they take a 10-minute walk, for either leisure or travel.

The results show 31 per cent of them did so less than once a week – though it is an improvement on the year before, when 36 per cent gave the same answer.

Almost a third of adults in Bedford fail to take one short walk a week

The proportion of adults in Bedford who do not take a short weekly stroll was higher than the average across England, of 29 per cent.

The NHS recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate activity, which can include brisk walking, to treat obesity.

Separate statistics from Public Health England (PHE) show almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of adults in England are overweight, with the organisation warning obesity is linked to severe symptoms and death from coronavirus.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: "Just 10 minutes every day is a good start and can have health benefits but more is better and now more than ever avoiding public transport if possible and walking to work or to the shops makes even more sense."

Along with the increased risk from Covid-19, she added that living with excess weight raises the risk of a range of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes.

The figures show Bedford residents were even less likely to cycle than walk, with just 13 per cent getting out on their bikes at least once per week.

And 22 per cent said they did not either walk or cycle at least once every four weeks.

The Government's new strategy to help people lose weight includes over £2billion in safe walking and cycling routes, a ban on some junk food promotions and stricter advertising controls.

A spokesman said: “We are determined to tackle the problem of obesity across all ages.”

According to the Sport England survey, the average annual distance travelled on foot by people across England fell to 205 miles last year – down from 210 miles the year before.

The most common reason given by people for not doing more was that they walk enough already, with the weather also acting as a deterrent.