Walking makes people happier, restores work-life balance

Written by FE Online | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 31 2014, 19:29pm hrs
Walking regularly helps people restore their work life balance, makes them calmer, happier and more positive towards life, reveals Max Bupa Walk for Health Survey 2014, a first of its kind study of nearly 1000 walkers in Delhi and Mumbai.

According to the survey, 83% walkers in Delhi and Mumbai experience positive lifestyle changes post walking. 47% walkers in Delhi and 43% walkers in Mumbai feel they have become calmer. 36% walkers in Delhi and 26% walkers in Mumbai say that their work life balance has improved post walking, as they have started leaving office on time,to walk. 41% people in Delhi and 43 % people in Mumbai also feel that their sleeping habits have improved as a result of walking. Also, 35% walkers in Delhi and 38% walkers in Mumbai experienced improvement in their self-esteem and confidence. 70% patients suffering from serious heart, respiratory, obesity and bone or joint related ailments, also experienced improvement in their physical, mental and emotional health, after walking. 91% patients suffering from bone or joint related issues, 81% obese patients, 77% cardio patients and 76% asthma patients reported that they feel happier, active, energetic and more positive, after regular walks.

The survey reiterates the multiple health benefits of a simple exercise like walking that Max Bupa has taken upon itself to drive across the country through its first of its kind health initiative, Max Bupa Walk for Health. The initiative aims to encourage people to integrate walking into their daily schedule. Buoyed by the participation of more than 40,000 people in the two editions of Max Bupa Walk for Health 2012 and 2013, the third edition of Max Bupa Walk for Health is scheduled for November 9 this year in Delhi and Mumbai.

A significant number of regular walkers say that that they have started avoiding junk food (60%), started waking up early (51%) and have become more inclined towards a healthier lifestyle than before.1 out of every 2 regular walkers in Delhi and 1 out of every 3 regular walkers in Mumbaiprefer walking over driving short distances. The incidence of walking instead of driving shorterdistancesis also high among cardio (47%) and obese patients (35%).53% patients who walk regularlyexperienced decrease in stress and 41% said it helped improve their blood pressure levels. Weight loss is also one of the positive after effects of walking, visible within six months in most patients. On an average, patients reported losing more than 4 kg through regular walking. Cardio and Obesity patients reported an average weight loss of 6 kg and 5 kg respectively.

Manasije Mishra, Chief Executive Officer, Max Bupa said, The findings of the Max Bupa Walk for Health Survey 2014 reinforce the numerous physical and psychological benefits of walking, including better health, positive lifestyle changes, improvement in eating and sleeping patterns, among many others. It has emerged from the survey that walking is a super pill, prescribed by 96% doctors to people across age groups, including patients suffering from chronic ailments like heart diseases, obesity and asthma. The Max Bupa Walk for Health initiative, now in its third season, is our endeavour to encourage people to walk regularly for a healthier and more successful life.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed how technology motivates different age groupsand genders to walk more. People in the older age group are more disciplined and focused while walking, however those in the middle and younger age groupslike to multitask, engage on social networking sites or apps while walking. 45% of middle age group walkers listen to music, 41% check mails and 40% talk on the phone. 41% men plan important activities while walking, 39% men prefer to socialize with other walkers and family, while 33% women either listen to music or simply check mails while walking. Social networking sites and messaging apps like facebook and whatsapp are also popular with men and women in the younger age groups, with 23% admitting to their usage while walking.

It has emerged from the survey that every 4 out of 5 walkers suffering from serious chronic ailments in Delhi and Mumbai have health insurance policies. Almost 90% of people in the younger age group had insured their health, followed by the middle age group at 82% and the older age group lagging behind at 71%.