People walking

Yesterday Sport England released figures showing that physical activity levels are increasing across the country. Our Head of Policy and Communications, Tanya Braun discusses why this is such a positive step.

Tanya Braun

Many of us aren’t achieving recommended levels of physical activity. We’re supposed to aim for 150 minutes a week, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but in the last few years one in five of us hasn't taken a 20 minute walk once in a year.

Here at Living Streets we’re thrilled that walking for leisure or travel remains the most popular physical activity, with 477,800 more people walking for travel (15,247,600 people walk for travel) and 514,000 more walking for leisure (19,162,200 people walk for leisure)*. 

This is the aim of our behaviour-change projects and work campaigning for better streets - to help encourage more of us to walk everyday.

*According to Sport England’s Active Lives Survey 2019

Crossing the road
People walking


We work with schoolchildren, workplace employees and older adults to encourage more walking of everyday journeys. Not only is walking easy and accessible, it’s amazing for our mental and physical health.

Our work in action

Particularly promising statistics show that older adults have helped drive up the figures for more physical activity this year. There are now 100,700 fewer inactive adults aged 55.

There has also been an increase in activity levels (216,300 more) and a decrease in inactivity levels (107,800 fewer) amongst people with a disability or long-term health condition.

Walking has been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, heart disease and depression. Plus, if we all walk our everyday journeys more, we’ll be reducing our own carbon footprint and helping create a feeling of community. Walking is win, win.

No doubt the tide is turning towards walking, but we still need more prioritization of it and more investment to make it happen for us all. Our streets need to be fit for walking to encourage us all to take more steps in our everyday lives.

If you’re interested in knowing how you can fit more walking into your day, or how you can campaign for better streets – sign up for our enews.

What you can do