NEW Survey Reveals Why Walking is the Only Way Forward

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A recent survey of more than 1,000 people in the UK aged 40+, commissioned by leading walking holiday specialist, Headwater has revealed that 7 out of 10 people believe walking to be more important today than it was 10 years ago.

The research, commissioned in celebration of National Walking Month, reveals that three quarters (76%) of people prefer to explore destinations on foot whilst on holiday, than any other mode of transport. With the NHS’ recent statistics stating that 1 in 4 adults in England get less than 30 minutes of exercise a week, Headwater’s new findings could suggest that more adults will begin to incorporate walking into their daily routines.

When asked which aspect of walking they most enjoy, 84% of respondants said the fresh air, followed by 69% who like the fact that walking keeps them fit.

Other results include:

– More than half of over-40s (54%) believe being around nature to be the most enjoyable thing about walking.

– Just over a fifth (22%) have been on a self-guided or guided walking holiday.

– Seeing a region in their own time is the favourite part of a walking holiday for more than half (57%) of those surveyed.

– Nearly two-thirds (65%) of over-40s love walking holidays because they get to enjoy the outdoors.

– 55% of over-40s think the local culture, food and wine is the best part of a walking holiday.

Headwater’s Marketing and Product Director, Alison Scott, explains how Headwater plan to incorporate the findings going forward:

“Our research supports the recent NHS review of obesity, highlighting the importance of regular exercise for adults. Incorporating regular walking into your routine is easy and as it’s not a strenuous form of exercise, it’s actually quite enjoyable! On a walking holiday you can enjoy pleasures such as fine food and wine whilst burning off some of the calories when exploring a destination on foot.

“Following the research we’d like to attract and support those new to walking by creating a series of e-guides later in the year, covering everything from what to pack to reviews of the ideal cost-effective kit to how to take the best holiday photographs. We want to debunk the myth that walking holidays are just for the active and experienced and ensure that they are open to everyone of any age, experience or fitness level. Walking is important and we want to shout about its numerous benefits.”

Regional statistics

  • 35% of over-40s in North-East England have been on a walking holiday compared to just 17% in the North-West, and 14% in the West Midlands.
  • More than 91% of over-40s in the North-East get about by walking on holiday.
  • More than half of over-40s in the East of England (55%) and half of people in the South-East (50%) like walking holidays because they can meet new people in a slow paced, relaxed environment.