movement at work

10 fun facts on walking! Posted by Justine Clarabut on 20 April, 2023

Walking is one of the most popular forms of exercise. It is a low-impact relatively accessible activity that is free providing powerful health benefits. Walking is sometimes overlooked but something as simple as taking a daily brisk walk can help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase energy levels, and help to prevent lifestyle diseases.

Take a look at 10 facts on walking that will help to get you striding out to a fitter and healthier way of life…

1. The average adult will walk 65,000 in their lifetime which is the equivalent of walking 3 times around the world! Walking is a great way to improve your heart health, build stamina, burn calories, and is a form of aerobic activity!

2. It requires 200 muscles just to take one step. This is why walking is considered a full-body exercise. It is not just your arms and legs that are responsible for the forward motion, your core is hard at work too!

3. The average healthy adult walks at a speed of around 3mph. The age of a person will affect how fast they walk, and the speed of walking decreases with age. A brisk walk is typically 3.5mph and can help you to build stamina, burn excess calories and increase your heart health!

4. The longest walk around the world was completed by Jean Beliveau, a neon-sign salesman, who walked 46,600 miles around 64 countries. The trip took him 11 years. Many people focus on strength or speed but underestimate the fitness factor of stamina. Good stamina is not just about physical strength and endurance but also about being efficient mentally. Having good mental stamina helps to overcome stress and improves your focus.

5. About 18% of the world suffers from somnambulism. In other words, sleepwalking. This involves getting up and walking around whilst asleep! It is more common in children than adults and is usually outgrown by the time children become teenagers. Sleepwalking can be triggered by infection, anxiety, stress, lack of sleep and medication/drugs.

6. Walking briskly for one mile in 15 minutes burns approximately the same amount of calories as jogging an equal distance in 8.5 minutes. Walking is an excellent exercise choice that doesn’t cost anything and can help with weight loss and improve cardiovascular health.

7. A study following 4,840 men and women 40 years of age and older for about 10 years found that those taking at least 8,000 steps daily had a 51% lower death rate from all causes compared with those taking 4,000 steps or fewer.  Medical professionals recommend walking to increase better health, particularly for inactive people. A goal of 10,000 steps a day has become widely known but recent studies have shown that health benefits increase even if fewer steps are taken each day.

8. Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment that involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression.

9. The greatest distance traveled with a football balanced on the head is 49.17 km (30.5 miles) This was achieved by Manoj Mishra (India), in West Bengal, India, on 1 January 2016. It took Manoj over eleven hours to complete this record. Working on our balance challenges the whole body and strengthens muscle groups that quite often don’t get a good workout! Good balance leads to improved posture, with a decreased risk of arthritis and less back pain.

10. To understand roughly how fast you walk, count the number of steps you take in a minute and divide by 30. Your walking speed depends on your level of fitness and walking experience. Other factors that may affect your overall speed are difficult terrain and walking uphill and downhill.

Make walking a habit

We hope our fun facts on walking will help to motivate you to build more steps into your daily routine. Try increasing your steps, here’s some tips!

  • walk up the stairs instead of taking the lift
  • walk all or part of your journey to work
  • leave the car behind when possible and perhaps walk to shops, post a letter or see a friend
  • take a walking meeting
  • walk the kids to school, it will benefit you all!
  • meet a friend or colleague regularly and go for a walk
  • go for a 10 minute walk in your lunch break!

References for fun facts on walking