Walking with a specific goal would be better for your health than a simple walk

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Walking with a specific purpose, especially to go to work, would be more beneficial to your health than going for a walk aimlessly, without a specific goal.

A new scientific study, published at the end of July in the Journal of Transport and Health, indicates that walking for a specific reason would be more beneficial to health than walking aimlessly on a walk. People who walked to work or the grocery store from home, for example, reported feeling healthier than people who used walking alone as a hobby.

The researchers used data from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey, a US database collected between April 2016 and May 2017. They analyzed self-reported health assessments of about 125,885 adults ages 18 to 64. . They reported how much time they spent walking for different purposes: from home to work, from home to shopping, for fun, etc. At the same time, they rated her health on a scale of one to five. All the data covered more than 500,000 steps.

"We have found that utility walking dramatically improves your health and that these types of walks are easier to incorporate into your daily routine," said Gulsah Akar, associate professor of urban and regional planning at Knowlton School. of Architecture from Ohio State University (USA).

The researchers also found that walking an additional 10 minutes per trip, such as from home to the nearest bus stop, increased the odds of having a health score 6% higher compared to people who walked for other reasons.

In addition, people who walked to work walked faster on average (4.34 km / h) than those who walked for other reasons. Participants who walked for recreation, such as after dinner, walked at an average of 4.10 km / h.

Professor Gulsah Akar, who has studied the way people walk for years, said she was surprised to see that walking for different purposes made a difference in the way people felt healthy. "I thought that the differences would not be that great, and that all the ways of walking are useful," he said. "And it's true, but walking for some purposes has a much greater effect on our health than others," she added.

For the researcher, these results suggest that the integration of walking at times of the day generally associated with a sedentary lifestyle, such as moving on foot rather than by car, can allow a person to feel in better health.

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