Third of people don't do 10 minutes of walking a week
Walking is one of the easiest ways to keep fit and stay healthy '“ but 31% of people in Northumberland don't even manage a 10-minute walk once a week.
And 23% said they had not walked for 10 consecutive minutes in the last month, according to new data from the Department for Transport.
The figures come from the Active Lives Survey, an annual questionnaire which asks people over the age of 16 in every local authority in England about how much sport and physical activity they do.
In Northumberland, 69% of people did manage a weekly 10-minute stroll, which is slightly higher than the national average of 68%.
But 32% of people managed 10 minutes of continuous walking at least five times a week.
People in urban areas were more likely to walk as a mode of transport than those in the countryside, according to the survey, which found nine out of 10 areas with the highest number of adults walking for travel were in London.
In rural areas, people were more likely to walk as a leisure activity rather than for travel.
In Northumberland, more than half of people surveyed walked for leisure once a week. This was higher than the 33% who took at least one weekly walk for travel.
The local authority which had the highest rate of weekly walking was the City of London, followed by Hammersmith and Fulham.
Sandwell in Birmingham had the worst rate of weekly walking – just 56% of adults surveyed managed a 10-minute stroll.
The NHS recommends that all adults take 150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, every week.
It says regular walking reduces the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, as well as helping maintain a health weight.
The latest figures from Public Health England show that 61% of adults in Northumberland are obese or overweight. An NHS report on physical activity found people are leading less active lives than in previous decades, due to factors like increased car ownership and a reduction in the number of manual jobs.
‘For most people, the easiest way to get moving is to make activity part of everyday life, like walking or cycling instead of using the car to get around’, the guidance says.