UK Government

Department of Health (National): Walk this way for a healthier future

Press Release   •   Sep 09, 2010 14:31 BST

Walk4Life to hit the streets on 26 September

Crowds of walkers in ten cities across England and Wales will take great strides to improve their health this month by taking part in Walk4Life.

Change4Life, ITV and walking groups are joining together to hold ITV’s Walk4Life Day on Sunday 26 September. This is a nationwide day of mass-participation walks which will see people across the country stepping out and on their way to a happier, healthier future.

On 13 September, ITV newsrooms across England and Wales are launching the campaign to get viewers off their sofas and encouraging them to get active, improve their lifestyle and walk in a location near them.

The free Change4Life events will be open to everyone, from experienced ramblers to first-time walkers and will be between one and three miles long. Ten major events will be held around England and Wales, led by local ITV personalities.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said:

“Walking is a great way for families to spend time together. Brisk walking for at least ten minutes is good for improving health and can count towards the recommended activity goals of thirty minutes five times a week for adults, and sixty minutes every day for children. It’s good for you and it gives you a chance to take time out of your busy life - quality time that is free and available to us all."

Adam Crozier, ITV’s Chief Executive said:

“Walking is something that almost everyone can do to improve their health. I hope our viewers across the country will step up to the challenge and join ITV’s Walk4Life Day. “

The walks coincide with the launch of a new website www.walk4life.info which allows people to type in their postcode to find a local walk, or if they live near one of the ten ITV Walk4Life events, to head down and join in.

There’s also a network of hundreds of regular walks across the country, which can all be found on the Walk England website. A wide range of supporting organisations including the British Heart Foundation, Living Streets, Walking for Health, Ramblers, Sustrans and Walk England are all bringing their walking expertise to the day and are a good source of information for people wanting to find local walks in the future.

Bringing together local, commercial and governmental partners, Change4Life is helping people all over the country understand the long-term health risks of a poor diet and inactive lifestyle, and is helping to highlight the small and simple changes, such as walking which can make a big difference.

Walks are taking place in:-

·        Cambridge – Mill Pond –led by Walk England (11am)

·        Nottingham – Victoria Embankment –led by Age UK (11am)

·        Birmingham – Highbury Park – led by the Ramblers (11am)

·        Bristol – Millennium Square - led by the Bristol Health Walks Partnership (10.45am)

·        Brighton – Seafront - led by Brighton and Hove City Council (11am)

·        Caerphilly – on Thursday 23rd September – led by Sport Wales (11 am)

·        Newcastle – Quayside, City Centre – led by Newcastle City Council (11am)

·        Hull – The Humber Bridge – British Heart Foundation event (11am) –donation of £5 to BHF required

·        London – Gabriel’s Wharf – led by Walk England (11am)

·        Manchester – Hollingworth Lake –British Heart Foundation event (11am) – Free to enter if registered in    advance or a donation of £15 if you turn up on the day.

Notes to editors

1.     For copies of the Change4Life logo, television adverts or print images, call the Department of Health newsdesk on 020 7210 5221.

2.     ITV’s Walk4Life Day is part of ITV’s support for the Department of Health’s Change4Life campaign.  The event will be profiled in national and regional news and on Daybreak.   Please contact the following ITV Regional Newsrooms regarding coverage of the regional events:

·        Anglia - James Bush, james.bush@itv.com, 0844 88 16862

·        Border / Tyne Tees - Julie Jude, julie.jude@itv.com, 0844 88 15060

·        Central - Chris Hesketh, christopher.hesketh@itv.com, 0844 88 14 122

·        Granada - Richard Frediani, richard.frediani@itv.com, 0161 9526035

·        London- Becky Emmett, becky.emmett@itn.co.uk, 0207 833 3000

·        Meridian -  Adrian Wills, adrian.wills@itv.com, 0844 88 14335

·        Wales -  Shone Hughes, shone.hughes@itv.com, 0844 88 10 375

·        West / Westcountry - Ben Haggitt, ben.haggitt@itv.com, 0844 88 12 306

·        Yorkshire - Will Venters, will.venters@itv.com, 0113 222 8822

3.     Additional materials available from the DH newsdesk

·        Range of case studies where walking has dramatically improved people’s  lives.

·        Walking organisation and Change4Life spokespeople.

·        An illustrative map of the key ITV walks.

·        Details of each individual walk.

4.     Anyone who wants to get involved with Change4Life should register atwww.nhs.uk/change4life

5.     Change4Life recommends that children get 60 minutes of activity every day and adults 30 minutes, five times a week.

6.     Find Change4Life on Facebook and Twitter (@Change4Life)

7.     Local Partners:

The Ramblers:

The Ramblers is Britain's walking charity, working to safeguard the places where people go walking and encourage more people to take it up.

Walking for Health:

Walking for Health encourages more people to become physically active in their local communities. They support the largest network of health walk schemes across England and offer regular led walks over easy terrain with trained walk leaders.

Walk England:

Walk England has been established to work in partnerships across the country to create local opportunities for people to choose to walk, to walk more often, to walk to more places, and to feel safe while doing so.

BHF:

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the nation’s heart charity, dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information.

Living Streets:

Living Streets is a national charity that stands up for pedestrians – alongside supporters they work to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets, where people want to walk.

Sustrans:

Sustrans are a leading UK charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys they make every day. They work with families, communities, policy-makers and partner organisations so that people are able to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys, with better places and spaces to move through and live in.

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