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The national case for Walking for Health
We've compiled a briefing with the help of physical activity and health experts that draws on the very latest research findings, official guidance and government policy to make the strongest case yet for walking schemes aimed at inactive people.
This concise and fully referenced briefing reflects the growing weight of evidence and policy recognising physical inactivity as a threat to public health approaching that of smoking - and the major role that walking could play in combating it.
You can also read a bit more about what is in it below.
PLEASE NOTE: We will be updating this document shortly to reflect our new brand, but in the meantime please continue to use it.
In England only a third of people say they are active enough to meet the Chief Medical Officer's official recommendations, and research suggests this may be an overestimate. The cost of inactivity to the NHS and the wider economy could be as high as £10 billion a year, and even respected medical journal The Lancet has dubbed inactivity a global pandemic.
Walking is a free, easy, accessible, low impact way of getting active which has fewer barriers to participating than other forms of physical activity. NHS adviser the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) agrees that walking is the most likely way for people to get more active, and says that increasing walking is a key way for councils to meet not only their public health targets, but other objectives too such as sustainable transport.
Walking for Health stands out as a simple, cost effective, tried and trusted way of getting inactive people walking. We are a nationally recognised programme, robustly monitored and evaluated, meeting NICE's advice to connect to national initiatives. And we’re now backed by two of Britain's top charities, the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support, both recognised as experts in their fields.
This new briefing is the first in a series of resources aimed at helping our schemes to bid successfully for funds and form closer local partnerships. Our future plans include a toolkit to help schemes make the local case for funding using local information and statistics, as well as more detailed evidence documents for a variety of audiences, so keep an eye on this section over the coming months!