Walking - a simple prescription for good health

25/09/2012

Walk to Work Day, Friday 28 September 2012

The AMA is encouraging individuals and workplaces to participate in Walk to Work Day this Friday, 28 September.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that events such as Walk to Work Day provide people with an incentive to take up regular exercise.

“Regular walking can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, asthma, and some cancers, and help control type 2 diabetes,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Walking is good exercise for people of all ages – and it’s easy.  You can walk alone or in a group, at any time of day, and in most types of weather.

“It is recommended to walk for at least 30 minutes a day, and it is helpful to develop a walking routine that makes exercise a regular event in daily life.

“Walk to Work Day is a perfect opportunity for people to introduce themselves to the health benefits and enjoyment of walking and being outdoors,” Dr Hambleton said.

Details of how to participate in Walk to Work Day are at http://www.walk.com.au

Background:

A study, Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study, published in The Lancet, assessed the health benefits of a range of volumes of physical activity in a Taiwanese population.

In this prospective cohort study, 416,175 individuals (199,265 men and 216,910 women) participated in a standard medical screening program in Taiwan between 1996 and 2008, with an average follow-up of 8·05 years.  On the basis of the amount of weekly exercise indicated in a self-administered questionnaire, participants were placed into one of five categories of exercise volumes: inactive, or low, medium, high, or very high activity.

Compared with individuals in the inactive group, those in the low-volume activity group, who exercised for an average of 92 minutes per week or 15 minutes a day, had a 14 per cent reduced risk of all-cause mortality, and had a three-year longer life expectancy.  Every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise beyond the minimum amount of 15 minutes a day further reduced all-cause mortality by 4 per cent and all-cancer mortality by 1 per cent.  These benefits were applicable to all age groups and both sexes, and to those with cardiovascular disease risks.  Individuals who were inactive had a 17 per cent increased risk of mortality compared with individuals in the low-volume group.

25 September 2012

CONTACT:         Kirsty Waterford                  02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

 

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