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GOOD WEEKENDS Get your family walking

family walking

Only half of UK seven year olds do enough exercise, a new study has found

Researchers at University College London monitored 6500 children and found only 51 per cent achieved the recommended hour of exercise and half of them were sedentary for more than six hours daily.

The UCL team got the children to wear an activity monitor known as an accelerometer to measure their activity levels and found the most pronounced difference was in activity between boys and girls – under 40 per cent of girls spent an hour a day being active compared to 63 per cent of boys.

Inactivity in childhood is more likely to lead to inactivity – and subsequent obesity – in adulthood.

‘The findings are particularly worrying because seven year olds are likely to become less active as they get older, not more,’ said lead author, Professor Carol Dezateux.  The study was published in the British Medical Journal. Read more here on the BMJ website or see this BBC news report here.

So what to do about it? It seems a large majority of us want to get out there and get our families more active and research published last month found that two thirds of us were planning to make the simple family walk a priority.

In a bid to help, Boots the Chemist have partnered up with Macmillan Cancer Support to create a series of nine walks happening in August and September offering three and eight mile route options in countryside locations across the UK.

The sponsored walks are part of the Miles for Macmillan campaign designed for people to find ways to walk and raise money for the cancer charity. Click here to find a walk taking place in your area

The next Big Beautiful Walk in London one takes place in Regent’s Park on August 31st and then at Hatfield Forest on September 14th.  Click here for details

Find out more about Macmillan here.  Get tips for preparing for the walks and getting started walking from NHS Choices


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