Take a walk on the brisk side and improve your health with ‘Active 10’

Somerset County Council is encouraging people to make great strides to improve their health just by walking for at least ten continuous minutes every day with the help of the ‘Active 10’ app.

New evidence from Public Health England (PHE) suggests that walking at a brisk pace each day can help prevent cancer, heart disease and poor mental health.

Figures reveal that 37% of adults aged 40–60 in the South West, that is over 560,000 people, walk less than ten minutes continuously each month.

Somerset adults are encouraged to download the free One You ‘Active 10’ app to help them introduce more activity into their daily routine. The free app helps users monitor how much brisk walking they are currently doing each day and it provides motivational tips and goal setting advice.

The app combines walking intensity and time, rather than just distance or steps and is the first of its kind. It has already helped 50,000 adults get more active in the UK.

Evidence demonstrates the following health benefits from a brisk 10 minute walk everyday:

  • Lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia and some cancers
  • Increased physical fitness
  • Greater ease of performance of everyday physical activities
  • Improved mood
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased physical leanness and healthier weight

Cllr Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing at Somerset County Council, said: “We know that levels of physical activity in Somerset could be better with 27 percent of adults in the county doing less than 30 minutes of exercise a week.

“The ‘Active 10’ app is a great way for people to fit exercise in to their busy day. It shows people how they can take steps to improve their health just by introducing at least ten minute bursts of continuous brisk walking into their normal routine – such as walking to work, stepping out at lunchtime, walking to the shops or the local park or that favourite British tradition – taking the dog for a walk. Just do it briskly for at least 10 minutes.”

Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Medical Director at PHE, said: “I know first hand that juggling the priorities of everyday life often means exercise takes a back seat.

“Walking to the shops instead of driving or going for a brisk ten minute walk on your lunch break each day can add many healthy years to your life. The ‘Active 10’ app is a free and easy way to help anyone build more brisk walking into their daily routine.”

You can find out more about the One You Active 10 app here: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/active10