Third of Brits walk less than 15 minutes a day

People walking in woods

Research reveals that 35 per cent of the British population walk fewer than 1,500 steps a day – only about 15 minutes on foot and 85 per cent less than that recommended by the NHS.

Plus, 45 per cent of British parents believe their children walk less than they did as a child.

While 48 per cent of parents say the don't have the time to explore the countryside as a family, 17 per cent of British people would rather be in a car anyway.

However, 48 per cent of the poll's respondents think that going for walks outside with their children could improve their family relationship and 34 per cent reckon it could relieve family stress.

Off the back of this, Olympian James Cracknell, the Woodland Trust and cereal bar Tracker have joined forces get people out of the house and pledge to walk 30,000 miles off the beaten track.

"To me, there's no better feeling than exploring the great outdoors – and walking is the best way of doing this," says James Cracknell, double Olympic gold medallist, six-time World Rowing Champion and general outdoorsy chap.

"Many people see walking merely as a mode of transport and what they can too often overlook is that it is the start of an adventure."

Tony Chadwick, site manager at the Woodland Trust, says the organisation is looking forward to 'encouraging the nation to get off the beaten track'.

"A great way of doing this is by taking a walk through the many woodland areas in the UK," he says. "We own more than 1,000 woods across the UK and all are free to access. Woodlands are so great for many reasons – not only are they beautiful but they are a place for adventure and unwinding, home to the UK's oldest living thing – a yew tree – and a habitat for our much loved wildlife such as dormice and badgers."

A downloadable guide is available from the Tracker website which features James Cracknell's ideas for making walks even more fun for families, such as tracking animal footprints, building obstacle courses and making faces out of mud.

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