People find it easier to keep their walking exercise if the have company, and may even improve their quality of life, a study finds.
Group walking, said researchers from Anglio Ruskin University, provides an incentive to keep the walking routine.
“Walking in groups is a safe and inexpensive intervention that can be delivered easily and successfully in the community,” said lead author Professor Catherine Meads, from the university.
In the meta study, the researchers looked at 18 studies which involved physically healthy adults walking in groups or alone.
In their review, the researchers found that overall, those who engage in group walking were likely to keep the routine six months later.
Further, five of the seven studies - which examined quality of life - suggested that those who had walking groups showed higher score for quality of life. The other two studies showed no significant change.
“At a time when we are being encouraged to meet physical activity guidelines, a large proportion of the public fail to do so. Our review found that people may be more likely to exercise if they have social support,” said Professor Meads.
As per recommendations, adults should allot 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity every week, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Further, aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
“Walking in groups tended to increase life satisfaction and may also improve social connectedness,” Professor Meads concluded.
In addition to keeping the routine and having improved quality of life, walking also carried with several benefits.
According to Harvard Medical School’s publishing, walking could counteract obesity-promoting genes, curb chocolate cravings, prevent arthritis from developing and boost immune function. MIMS