AROUND a third of adults in Cheshire fail to take one short walk a week, new figures suggest.

Sport England's annual Active Lives Survey asked 2,384 residents across Cheshire East and West boroughs between November 2018 and November 2019 how often they take a 10-minute walk.

The results show 34 per cent of those respondents in Cheshire East (including Knutsford, Wilmslow and Middlewich) did so less than once a week, along with 31 per cent in Cheshire West (including Northwich and Winsford).

That was a higher proportion than one year earlier, when 31 per cent in Cheshire East and 25 per cent in Cheshire West walked 10 minutes less than once a week, and both boroughs were higher than the national average of 29 per cent in England.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: "Just 10 minutes every day is a good start and can have health benefits but more is better and now more than ever avoiding public transport if possible and walking to work or to the shops makes even more sense.

“Staying active is an important part of maintaining or reaching a healthy weight alongside a healthy diet."

The NHS recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate activity, which can include brisk walking, to treat obesity.

Residents were even less likely to cycle than walk, with just nine per cent in Cheshire East or West doing this once a week.

The Royal College of GPs said regular physical exercise can have significant benefits to both physical and mental health.

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the group, said: "There are lots of forms of exercise that patients can do that are free, easily accessible, and doable for patients of all fitness levels – walking is great example that is easy to incorporate into everyday life for most patients."

According to the Sport England survey, the average annual distance travelled on foot by people across England fell to 205 miles last year – down from 210 miles the year before.

The most common reason given by people for not doing more was that they walk enough already, with the weather also acting as a deterrent.