5 reasons why walking is so good for us

National Walking Month is a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the many health benefits of walking, some of which we’ll be looking at in this article.

Adults in the UK are recommended to take part in 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week and walking is great way to help meet this recommendation [1].

Here are some of the reasons why walking is great for your health:

Reduced risk of heart problems

Walking just one hour per day has been found to reduce the risk of early death associated with a sedentary lifestyle, which is known to increase the risk of heart disease [2].

Weight loss

Alongside following the principles of a healthy diet such as a low carb lifestyle, walking can be a useful tool for supporting weight loss. Research has found that people who avoid driving to work are more likely to have a lower BMI and body fat percentage [3].

Reduced stress

Studies have found that people who went for a relaxing walk in nature were shown to have improved mental health and lower levels of stress hormones [4].

Better blood glucose control

Walking has been found to help regulate blood glucose levels, helping to improve diabetes control [5].

Tackling anxiety and depression

Research has found that taking part in physical activity such as walking could be used as a possible treatment for improving symptoms of anxiety and depression [6].


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[1]     NHS, 2018. Physical activity guidelines for adults. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/

[2]     Ekelund, U., Steene-Johannessen, J., Brown, W.J., Fagerland, M.W., Owen, N., Powell, K.E., Bauman, A., Lee, I.M., Series, L.P.A. and Lancet Sedentary Behaviour Working Group, 2016. Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonised meta-analysis of data from more than 1 million men and women. The Lancet388(10051), pp.1302-1310.

[3]     Flint, E. and Cummins, S., 2016. Active commuting and obesity in mid-life: cross-sectional, observational evidence from UK Biobank. The lancet Diabetes & endocrinology4(5), pp.420-435.

[4]     Bratman, G.N., Hamilton, J.P., Hahn, K.S., Daily, G.C. and Gross, J.J., 2015. Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences112(28), pp.8567-8572.

[5]     Duvivier, B.M., Schaper, N.C., Hesselink, M.K., van Kan, L., Stienen, N., Winkens, B., Koster, A. and Savelberg, H.H., 2017. Breaking sitting with light activities vs structured exercise: a randomised crossover study demonstrating benefits for glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia60(3), pp.490-498.

[6]    Ströhle, A., 2009. Physical activity, exercise, depression and anxiety disorders. Journal of neural transmission116(6), p.777.