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Department of Health study finds 29pc of Havering residents won’t take a 10 minute walk this week

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 January 2018

Families walking their dogs in Harrow Lodge Park to raise money for Havering Mind. Picture: Catherine Davison

Families walking their dogs in Harrow Lodge Park to raise money for Havering Mind. Picture: Catherine Davison

Catherine Davison

Walking is one of the easiest ways to keep fit and stay healthy – but almost one-in-three people in Havering don’t manage a 10-minute walk once a week, according to new data from the Department for Transport.

The figures come from the Active Lives Survey, an annual questionnaire which asks people over the age of 16 in every local authority in England about how much sport and physical activity they do.

Shockingly, the survey also found that 22pc of people in the borough did not walk for periods of 10 minutes or more in the last month.

But 31pc walked for ten minutes or more at least five times a week.

According to the survey, nine 
out of 10 areas with the highest number of adults walking for travel were in London.

In Havering, more than a third 
of respondents walked for leisure once a week.

This was lower than the 50PC who took at least one weekly walk during their commute.

The local authority which had the highest rate of weekly walking was the City of London, followed by Hammersmith and Fulham.

Sandwell in Birmingham had the worst rate of weekly walking - just 56pc of adults surveyed managed a ten minute stroll.

The NHS recommends that all adults take 150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, every week.

It says regular walking reduces 
the risk of high blood pressure, 
high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, as well as helping maintain a 
healthy weight.

The latest figures from Public Health England show that 61pc of adults in Havering are obese or overweight, while another study recently revealed that more than a quarter of the borough’s children are medically obese by the time they leave primary school.

An NHS report on physical activity found people are leading less active lives than in previous decades, due to factors like increased car ownership and a reduction in the number of manual jobs.

“For most people, the easiest way to get moving is to make activity part of everyday life, like walking or cycling instead of using the car to get around”, the guidance says.

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