New research, released by CARE Australia, has revealed that only seven percent of Australians are walking more than the recommended daily distance for general health and wellbeing.
Results of the study, released as part of CARE’s Walk In Her Shoes Challenge, have revealed the average Aussie only walks 3.2 kilometres per day – the equivalent of 4,000 steps.
The World Health Organisation and the National Heart Foundation of Australia are among the health authorities that recommend 10,000 steps (7.62 kilometres) per day to improve general health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Gen Y-ers were shown to be the most active walkers, covering the greatest daily distance (3.5 kilometres). Baby Boomers, on the other hand, only walk around 2.9 kilometres each day.
Findings also indicated that women are twice as likely to walk less than one kilometre (1,300 steps) per day as their male counterparts, with Queenslanders and South Australians named as the least active Australians.
CARE Australia CEO Julia Newton-Howes said the research presented a significant contrast to what women and girls in developing countries are faced with each day: where women walk an average of six kilometres daily just to collect water, often carrying 15-20 kilograms.
“This new research shows that too many Australians aren’t walking enough, but for far too many women and girls overseas, it’s the opposite; the daily task of walking to collect water, food or firewood is a burden that means many miss out on going to school or having the chance to earn an income to lift themselves out of poverty,” said Dr Newton-Howes.
Dr Newton-Howes said Walk In Her Shoes challenges Australians to walk either 25, 50 or 100 kilometres over the course of a week, while raising money to provide water and food sources closer to communities.
“A few thousand extra steps during Walk In Her Shoes will go a long way to improving your fitness, but will also mean a lifetime of benefits to thousands of women in some of the world’s poorest countries.”
Walk In Her Shoes Ambassador and Weekend Today host, Deborah Knight, said participating in the Challenge was something that could easily be incorporated in to anyone’s daily routine.
“Swap your coffee shop catch up for a walk around the park with friends, or opt for a walking meeting with work colleagues. Whatever your approach, knowing that you’ve joined forces with thousands of Australians for such a great cause makes every step meaningful.”
To get involved, visit www.walkinhershoes.org.au and register to receive a welcome pack with all the information you need to get started.