Walking leads to health improvements: Report
A recent survey commissioned by Stepathlon, a company engaged in promoting corporate wellness globally, on 8,911 urban professionals over the past year has revealed that more than 40 per cent of the participants have shown remarkable health improvements after regular walking.
In line with global health authorities, Stepathlon recommended walking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, roughly corresponding to 6.4 kms.
The worldwide survey - conducted by market research agency IMRB - reported a significant rise in energy and fitness levels, reduction in stress and body weight and improved sleeping among participants.
All participants were part of Stepathlon's 100-day race around a virtual world which aims at promoting wellness through walking. The initiative involved as many as 30,897 'Stepathletes' from 210 companies, spread across 434 cities, and 34 countries.
The survey found that 28 percent of Stepathletes availed less sick leave, 34 percent reported increased productivity and 34 percent experienced increased engagement at their workplace.
Notably, in 2013 alone, as much as 18 percent of Stepathletes quit smoking and another 30 percent decreased cigarette usage.
Stepathlon CEO Ravi Krishnan said, "Stepathletes walked 105% more than they did prior to the start of Stepathlon. I am particularly pleased that 19 % of Stepathletes who smoked before Stepathlon, quit."
"Urban lifestyles, technology, time constraints and numerous other factors have led to people sinking into sedentary lifestyles," said Avirup Datta, VP, IMRB One Mumbai.
"Our survey findings clearly indicate that by regularizing the habit of walking, which has been effectively achieved by Stepathlon, has led to an increase in the fitness levels of 28% of the participants, lowered the stress levels of 27% and increased energy levels in 22%," he said.
From India, leading corporate entities such as the Mahindra Group, Tata Group, Godrej Group, Aditya Birla Financial Services Group, HDFC Bank, Idea Cellular, Deutsche Bank, YES Bank and HDFC Ltd competed for the title of 'Most Active Company'
To further inspire participants, Stepathlon launched the second edition of its calendar for the year 2014. The calendar features celebrities such as Dino Morea, Rahul Bose and Lisa Haydon in a series of candid photographs while engaging in different forms of exercise.
"The idea of the Stepathlon Calendar was conceived to inspire Stepathletes, their families and friends to become and remain active throughout the year", explained Ravi.
"We endeavour to encourage as many people as we can reach to proactively embark on the path of wellness," he said.
"Effecting lasting change takes a great deal of conviction and motivation. What is truly impressive is that Stepathlon appears to have found success not only in effectively engaging professionals to embrace wellness but also in keeping them motivated every day of the year through this inspiring calendar," commented Ajay Srinivasan, CEO, ABFSG
"What drew me to participate is that the calendar reflects the ethos of Stepathlon. Every person featured in it has been committed to health and wellness initiatives, both directly and indirectly, for several years," added actor-director and former International rugby union player Rahul Bose.
(Posted on 05-02-2014)