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Targeted Initiatives may Help Promote Walking in People

A new study has found that people can be encouraged to walk for up to 30 to 60 minutes more per week if they are given the right kind of help.

Conducted by David Ogilvie and his colleagues for the Scottish Physical Activity Research Collaboration (SPARColl), the study suggests that people can be encouraged to walk in a variety of waysface to face advice or telephone support, using pedometers, or promoting walking as an environmentally friendly mode of transport.

The authors say that different people may respond to different approaches. They say that one size may not fit all, and a range of options should be offered.

During the study, the authors reviewed 48 studies of different approaches to promoting walking. The most successful approaches were tailored to peoples needs, and targeted at sedentary people or at those most motivated to change.

Such approaches were found to raise walking in the target groups by up to 30-60 minutes a week on average, which is a substantial increase as most of the people hardly take exercise.

People can be encouraged to walk for up to 30-60 minutes more per week if they are given the right kind of help, finds a study published on bmj.com today. This could make a valuable contribution to improving public health.

David Ogilvie writes that the promotion of walking may help tackle the health problems linked to inactive lifestyles, as physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer of the colon.

The study has been published online in British Medical Journal (BMJ).


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