Monday 22nd September 2014
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Autumn 2014
Latest figures suggest that at least one in three people is insufficiently active for good health. Yet we know that increasing physical activity has a great effect on people’s health and well-being
Highlighting the general health improvements that being active can bring, John Morgan, a GP in Wigan, says: ‘Referring people for physical activity is certainly something I do on a regular basis. As a result, we’ve noticed 30–50% reductions in hypertension, ischemic heart disease, dementia and depression.’
Together, Macmillan and the Ramblers run Walking for Health in England. The walks are free, short, friendly and local, and they are helping more people – including those affected by cancer – discover the joys and health benefits of walking. Walking Works is the latest report from Walking for Health, which shows how effective walking can be. The report is available to health and social care professionals at be.macmillan.org.uk/wfh
An overview of the mounting research into the life-threatening consequences of inactivity, Walking Works concludes that walking is the answer to redusing the burden of long-term health conditions on the NHS. Supported by Public Health England, the report shows that referring patients to Walking for Health can help save lives and money, and reduce clinic numbers.
Visit walkingforhealth.org.uk You can also hear professionals talk about how Walking for Health can benefit people by visiting youtube.com/walkingforhealth
Health walks across the UK
Similar schemes operate in Scotland (visit pathsforall.org.uk) and in Wales (visit letswalkcymru.org.uk). In Northern Ireland you can visit walkni.com for walking maps and information about events and accommodation.