New research has revealed that office workers need to do twice as much exercise as other adults to reduce their risk of premature death - and has recommended walking more (published in The Lancet medical journal, reported 28 July).
Environmental pressures, such as desk jobs, make healthy choices difficult. However, inactivity is making people unhealthy and unhappy; accounting for one in six deaths in the UK and costing the health service up to £10billion a year. One way or another, we need to introduce more activity into our lives – and walking is an easy way to do this.
We want to create a walking nation. Just a 20 minute walk a day can provide noticeable physical and mental health benefits, reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, stroke and depression.
Employers should ensure their staff feel able to go for walks and encourage them to do so.
They will be rewarded with a happier and healthier workforce – bringing with it cost savings on sick pay, and employees who return from a walk feeling refreshed and motivated.
Head of Policy and Communications, Living Streets, Wentworth Street, London E1 7SA
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