People who walk in groups are more likely to stick to their exercise routines than those who walk alone, says a study from the U.K.’s Anglia Ruskin University. The study also found that walking in a group improves physical activity and improves the quality of life.
The review analyzed 18 studies of physically healthy adults walking in groups compared with walking alone or not at all. Researchers found that people who had participated in group walking were more likely to have continued to exercise by the end of the study, which was an average of six months later.
In five of the seven studies that measure quality of life, those who walked in groups showed scores significantly higher when compared to those who didn’t walk in groups.
“Walking in groups is a safe and inexpensive intervention that can be delivered easily and successfully in the community,” said lead author Catherine Meads.
“At a time when we are being encouraged to meet physical activity guidelines, a large proportion of the public fail to do so,” she continued. “Our review found that people may be more likely to exercise if they have social support.
“Walking in groups tended to increase life satisfaction and may also improve social connectedness.”
The study was published in the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care.
World Health Organization has suggested that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week (brisk walking), or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic training, or a combination of the two types.
Many recent studies have found that walking offers numerous health benefits.
Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that exercise, including walking, can lower the risk of heart disease and even overcome a genetic predisposition to the condition.
In another study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, Harvard researchers found that older women who engaged in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) lowered their risk of death by 60 to 70 percent when compared to women who were the least active.
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