Britain must keep in step to succeed, claims new report

A new report has demanded that people walk more in their daily lives.

Regular walking can improve the nation's health, according to the Move4Health group, whose director has said that spending an hour a day on your feet can burn calories and sustain a reasonable fitness level.

Felicity Porritt, speaking on BBC One's Breakfast, added that time is normally an excuse rather than a constraint to such exercise, and continued by saying that walking should be "about accumulated steps; it's not about sitting down at the beginning of the day and thinking I've got to do my hour of exercise."

Ms Porritt's organisation has already persuaded 13 MPs and several other estimable personalities to wear pedometers monitoring the distance a person walks each day.

The director continued: "It's just about walking as and when you can: when you're on the phone, pace up and down; if you're watching the television, get up and down and walk; dance to your favourite music; walk to the pub and back."

Ms Porritt has previously estimated that one in four people will be classed as obese by 2010, hence the urgent need for people to start thinking on foot.

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 This was taken from broadcast material.

 Campaigner outlines 10,000 steps to a healthier lifestyle
Thu, 01 Apr 04
DeHavilland Report - Broadcast Analysis
Encouraging people to walk more in their daily lives could help improve the nation's health, according to the director of the Move4Health group.

Felicity Porritt explained that clocking up an average of 10,000 steps per day - about an hour's walking - could burn off calories and help maintain a reasonable level of fitness.

The group has persuaded several high-profile figures, including 13 MPs, to wear pedometers that monitor how many steps a person walks each day as part of a drive to encourage people to try and adopt a more active lifestyle within the constraints of their day-to-day routines.

Ms. Porritt told BBC One's 'Breakfast' that monitoring people with pedometers had shown that people could increase their activity levels quite easily.

'It's shown that time is just an excuse rather than a real barrier; but that said, it's important to recognise that individuals do have different barriers and we don't all have the ability to just go out walking as and when we want to: there are a lot of people who live in an area where you wouldn't dream of going out walking. So that on a serious side is where government potentially has a responsibility to make areas safe.'

She continued: 'This is all about accumulated steps; it's not about sitting down at the beginning of the day and thinking I've got to do my hour of exercise.'

'It's just about walking as and when you can: when you're on the phone, pace up and down; if you're watching the television, get up and down and walk; dance to your favourite music; walk to the pub and back.'

Speaking on the same programme, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who has been wearing a pedometer as part of the Move4Health challenge, claimed that having to aim for 10,000 steps a day had encouraged her to change her behaviour such as using the stairs instead of lifts.

She continued: 'We have to take very seriously the fact that one in four women and one in five men are obese, and that we've seen increasing levels of obesity among children in this country. Obesity is a very complex fact, it has many causes, but one of the causes is that we're just taking less exercise.'

'And that's why a campaign like this is important: to show people what needs to be done, what can be done; and secondly, to demonstrate to people that it's relatively easy to actually get to a level of daily exercise that can have a material impact on your general health and well-being.'
Origins
Department for Culture, Media, and Sport > Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
and Walking

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