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Walking groups boost health benefits

Staff should encourage patients to join walking groups as an easy solution to boosting overall health, claims analysis in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Analysis of the pooled data show that walking groups have wide ranging benefits, above and beyond making people more physically active. 

The findings prompt the researchers to suggest that doctors and other healthcare professionals should recommend joining a walking group as a way of boosting health.

Researchers point out that in England, at least, 29% of adults do less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every week, and almost one in 10 don't even manage to walk for more than five minutes at a time over a month.

The studies involved participants from 14 different countries, with a wide range of long term conditions, including arthritis, dementia, diabetes, fibromyalgia, obesity/overweight, mental health issues, and Parkinson's disease.