Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Britons urged to 'get walking'

The number of journeys undertaken on foot has fallen by a quarter in the last 15 years

A charity has called for people to be more physically active after figures revealed the number of journeys undertaken on foot had fallen by a quarter in the last 15 years.

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) warned that being inactive increases the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, and urged people to "take to the streets" to help reverse a 28% fall in the number of walking trips over the past 15 years.

A charity spokesman said the figures, from the Department for Transport's National Travel Survey for 2010, painted a "worrying picture" of the health of the nation.

Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science at WCRF, said: "This points to us becoming less active as a nation and that is why WCRF wants to see people take to the streets to reverse the trend.

"As with other types of activity, walking can reduce body fat, boost the immune system and helps to move food through the gut more quickly - all factors that seem to play a role in reducing cancer risk."

The charity has launched its 2011 Walking Together campaign to promote physical activity.

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