Every Body Walk! week – great concept, practical tips

Just 30 minutes of walking, five times a week, is enough to improve your overall health.

Every Body Walk! is an very practical online educational campaign. The core message is that walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week can substantially improve health and prevent disease.

A recent BJSM paper shows that benefits might be greatest among those in the low fitness group http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/45/3/216.full

In other words, those with the most to gain get the most bang for their buck.

A terrific thing about the Every Body Walk! website  is the practical nature of it – motivating stories, trail guides, groups to join and even a pledge to help with execution. For those scoffing at the idea of a pledge, remember Robert Cialdini emphasizes the importance of public pledges as a method to promote behaviour change. And he’s only the highest cited scientist of all time (apparently!).

So, a great way to get your patients moving – a terrific initiative by partners including ACSM’s Exercise is Medicine initiative and Kaiser Permanente. Walking the Talk!!  See the ‘Green prescription’ below – this New Zealand invention is working in various countries. Get it into your practice!  See BMJ link for the RCT on effectiveness of green prescription.  For the power of exercise prescription for health you can google ‘Swedish Physical Activity Book’ (free download, 653 page book!) (and listen to BJSM podcast). BJSM featured the importance of physical activity for health in its January and February 2009 issues. See also ‘smokadiabesity‘ blog.

Competing interest: Karim Khan, BJSM editor, was part of a panel of experts promoting walking for physical activity at the Every Body Walk! event in Washington DC on Tuesday 20th, September [short video highlights here including smokadiabesity]. His red-eye flight to the meeting and same day return was paid by Every Body Walk! He received a boxed lunch but gave the chips and cookie to the taxi driver who was taking him back to the airport. He received no honorarium.

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