A large proportion of illness and death from cardiovascular disease could be prevented with healthy lifestyle changes, yet more people die from it globally – 17.3 million in 2008 – than any other causei.
Bupa’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Paul Bates, said walking is one of the easiest and most accessible ways for people to reduce one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, physical inactivity.
“Walking is proven to have benefits for a person’s heart health and can be easily incorporated into existing daily routines. Research shows that just 15 minutes a day of brisk walking can add up to three years to life expectancyii” Dr Bates said.
“The new Ground Miles app is a great motivator to get Australians moving, and to connect them with a global initiative to walk five million miles by the end of 2013.” Ground Miles allows users to track distances walked daily, set personal goals, group together with friends, family and colleagues, earn motivational badges and support and connect with friends via social networks.
One of Australia’s most inspirational walkers and Ground Miles ambassador, Deborah de Williams, can vouch for the benefits of walking.
“There’s nothing better than putting on your runners and taking in the fresh air, while you set out to achieve a walking goal,” said Ms de Williams.
Deborah de Williams was the first woman to ever walk continuously around Australia, covering a record breaking 16,925 km in 365 days, and this year marks the 10 year anniversary since she set off on her incredible journey.
“It’s amazing what you can achieve when you commit to something. In my case the goal was pretty extreme, but motivating yourself to do that little bit extra every week will go a long way to improving your long-term health,” Ms de Williams said.
“Walking is now a way of life and an app like Ground Miles would have been invaluable as I travelled around the country!”
For more information and to download the app visit http://www.bupa.com.au/health-and-wellness/tools-and-apps/mobile-apps.
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iCardiovascular diseases (CVD), (March 2013) World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/en/, 15 November 2013
iiWen, C.P. et al, ‘Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study’, The Lancet (2011) 378: 9798: 1244-53: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(11)60749-6/abstract.