Young People Walking Only 5 minutes a Day?

Twenty-five percent of Brits ages 18-24 admit to such a sedentary life style that they only walk 5 minutes a day. That’s barely enough time during the day to get to the kitchen from their computer chair!

A recent survey asked 2,000 young adults in the UK about how much they move. On average, women walk about 12 minutes a day and men walk about 8. This despite the fact that the British Heart Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. both recommend at least 30 minutes of walking each day and list many health benefits of the practice. They suggest that breaking up the 30 minutes into three 10 minutes walks a day can help. Even someone working full time in an office can manage that during their lunch hour or during a coffee break.

But, still, the young people aren’t moving. Ask their parents and they will say absolutely it’s the age of technology. “Back in the day…” parents say they walked more often and went more places. Now, the youth are glued to their computers and smart phones. What do the young people themselves say? The number one response is that they don’t have anyone to walk with. With so much of their social interactions happening online instead of in person, it’s hard to find someone to share exercise with.

Other reason Brits say they skip their daily walk? Most women say they either lack the energy or the weather is poor. Men said that they either have no time or their schedule is too busy. Similar excuses resound in the US.

“Walking can usually fit easily into your daily routine and something as simple as choosing to walk even part of the way to work instead of taking the car or bus can have a huge impact on your health,” said Paula Franklin, a manager for the British healthcare company Bupa. “For example, adding just 20 minutes walking to your day can dramatically reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and strokes.”

Ironically, 12% of the people who responded to the online survey said that their current lack of physical fitness was their excuse for not walking.

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