The number of journeys made on foot has fallen by a third (30 per cent) in less than 20 years, according to a new analysis by Diabetes UK.
The analysis, based on the National Travel Survey, suggests that people made an average of 203 journeys by foot in 2013, which is significantly down on the average of 293 journeys in 1995.
The number of journeys made on foot now accounts for just a fifth (22 per cent) of journeys, while over two thirds (64 per cent) are made by car or van.
Diabetes UK says that this should act as a wake-up call for people to walk more, as walking is a good way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Walking, along with other physical activity, can play an important role in maintaining a healthy weight, which in turn reduces risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. For the 3.8 million people in the UK who have diabetes, regular physical activity is also important for managing their condition.
To help encourage physical activity, as well as raise money to help it continue with its work, Diabetes UK has partnered with Truvia, no-calorie sugar alternative’, to organise the Walk for Diabetes series. They are encouraging people to sign up to the final walk of 2014, the London Bridges Challenge on Sunday, 2 November.
Simon O’Neill, Diabetes UK Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison, said: “Leading an active lifestyle and eating a healthy balanced diet are important steps to take to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes – or to help manage diabetes if you already have it. There is now strong evidence that you are much more likely to stick to a type of physical activity if you can incorporate it into your daily routine. This is why things like regular walking, or cycling to work rather than taking the bus, are great ways to get more physically active and this is why it is a real cause for concern if all of us are now walking less.
“We hope that as well as helping raise vital funds for us to help people with diabetes or those at high risk of the condition, our London Bridges Challenge can play a part in getting into the habit of walking.”
Tony Lucas, from Truvia, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Diabetes UK London Bridges Challenge. Being active and eating a balanced diet is vital to leading a healthy lifestyle and this event really embraces that ethos. We look forward to getting the message out there about how important it is to get physically active and healthy to help reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes.”