Active 10: Eamonn Holmes joins support of 10-minute fitness app
How far did you walk today? A new free app is getting people up on their feet and transforming their health, by simply asking them to walk briskly for 10 minutes each day.
Active 10 - an app set up as part of the Public Health England's One You campaign - challenges you to complete just 10 minutes of continuous brisk walking per day, boosting your health and reducing the risk of early death by 15%.
The app has high-profile support, with television presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford as ambassadors.
Right now, more than six million people aged 40-60 in England alone do not manage 10 continuous minutes of walking each month, meaning they miss out on a whole host of health benefits.
Exercise apps are extremely popular, featuring in the top 10 categories in the Apple store, with endless variety: from running apps that demand you escape zombies, others that pitch you in to battle aliens, and more.
And yet, as a nation we walk an average of 15 miles less a year than we did two decades ago, we're 20% less active than we were in the 1960s, and those in the 40-60 age bracket are more likely to miss out on regular exercise.
So, what's the problem?
For a lot of people, especially those approaching middle age, the idea of getting into or back into regular exercise can be daunting. Dedicating just 10 minutes a day - and beginning with a brisk walk - can seem a lot more achievable than outrunning a zombie hoard.
Professor Sir Muir Gray, clinical adviser for the Active 10 app and the One You campaign, said: "We all know physical activity is good for your health, but for the first time we are seeing the effects that easily achievable changes can make."
It's not about taking on huge physical strain, or totally changing the way you live your life - the Active10 app hopes to encourage people to fit healthy changes in around their existing schedule.
Dr Jenny Harries, deputy medical director at Public Health England, said: "I know first hand that juggling the priorities of everyday life often means exercise takes a back seat.
"Walking to the shops instead of driving, or going for a brisk 10-minute walk on your lunch break each day, can add many healthy years to your life. The Active 10 app is a free and easy way to help anyone build more brisk walking into their daily routine."
Lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, dementia and more
The benefits of just a few minutes of daily exercise are pretty amazing.
As well as reducing risk of early death by 15%, regular physical activity (defined as around two and a half hours per week) will:
- Lower your risk of diabetes by 40%
- Lower your risk of heart disease by 35%
- Lower your risk of dementia by 30%
- Lower your risk of some cancers by 20%
As well as improve mental well-being, reduce blood-pressure and lessen anxiety. That's a lot of good stuff for just taking a walk at lunchtime.
Think you might be up to the challenge?
A total of 50,000 people have already downloaded the free Active 10 app. Join the crowd, download the app for yourself, dedicate ten minutes of your day, and feel the long-term benefits.