Health and wellness coach Alex Pedley on how a short walk can increase productivity
We now have the capacity to track our every footstep via our smartphones and watches. You would presume that this information would make us more active, but the opposite is true. Instead it simply highlights the fact that we are not moving enough.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 60 to 85 per cent of the population worldwide does not engage in enough physical activity. This is now the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.
It is no surprise that staying active is fundamental to our physical wellbeing, but the benefits are just as vast for our mental wellbeing.
Studies show that walking can help with our mental health – reducing anxiety, depression, and a negative mood. It can also boost self-esteem and reduce symptoms of social withdrawal.
One particular study in Scotland of 3371 unique participants, who completed a total of 285,380 scans to see what the affect of physical activity had on their mental wellbeing, showed a substantial difference in the mental wellbeing between the least and most active individuals.
The power of walking cannot be underestimated – it is an underutilised weapon in the fight against the abundant stressors of modern life.
Yet, if you go out in the City of London during a normal workday you will see professionals walking while checking their phones. The time spent strolling between meetings and other appointments was once a period of relaxation but is often now spent fully submerged in replying to messages. Instead of switching off we stay very much switched on.
If you are experiencing difficulties with your mental health, please seek advice from a medical professional or the Samaritans helpline at 116 123.