Category Archives: Feet for Life month

Car-loving Britons are too lazy to walk!

The car-loving Britons who refuse to walk: One in five people now stroll for less than 15 minutes a day

New research from the College of Podiatry which was published in the Daily Mail today states that:

  • Research finds walking short distances almost always shunned by drivers
  • Nearly half of public would take the car when visiting friends or local shop
  • Lazy habits revealed despite 40 per cent admitting they need to walk more
  • Excuses for not walking include weather worries and uncomfortable shoes

In the study, fifty three per cent admit driving or using public transport to reach a destination which is in ‘easy walking distance’. Shockingly, one in 20 say they will ‘always’ drive somewhere they could easily walk to.

That’s despite 40 per cent of those polled admitting they need to walk more, with nearly half saying they should to be ‘more active’ – and one in every five getting nowhere near the recommended 15 minutes of walking each day.

The research, which was commissioned to mark foot health awareness campaign, Feet for Life month (June), asked 2,000 UK adults about how much they walk.  The findings showed that only a few of us use our own two feet to get around.  Shockingly, more than half of us (54 per cent) admit to driving or using public transport to reach a destination which is in ‘easy walking distance’. This is despite four in ten of us (40 per cent) acknowledging that we need to walk more, and 46 per cent recognising that we need to be ‘more active’.

Idle Brit’s love of wheels is further highlighted, with one in 20 (6 per cent) confessing they would ‘always’ drive somewhere where they could easily walk and 20 per cent admitting to doing this ‘frequently’.

Almost half (44 per cent) cited ‘time’ and ‘arriving as soon as possible’ as being the biggest factor in determining what method of transport to use.  Perhaps not surprisingly for a nation of weather worriers, 61 per cent said the weather plays a huge part and often results in them driving to a nearby location.

But the excuses don’t end there, ten per cent worry their feet will hurt after walking, and 17 per cent refuse to walk as they feel ‘tired’. A further one in ten (11 per cent) blame their shoes and say they are not ‘comfortable’ enough to walk in.

The study also shows how we cannot even be bothered to take a relaxing stroll to our closest shop.  Almost two thirds of us (62 per cent) have a local newsagent less than half a mile away – but three in ten (31 per cent) still prefer to drive or use public transport.

Worryingly, we’re not setting a good example to the next generation with a fifth of parents admitting to driving their children to school (19 per cent).  Even though more than a quarter (27 per cent) revealed their child’s school is less than a mile away from their home.

Just one in ten (12 per cent) of us choose to walk to work and a measly 15 per cent walk their children to school.

And it seems we over-use our cars so much we can’t resist driving them even when we are at our place of work.  The research found a fifth of us (19 per cent) even drive to a shop to buy lunch when we are at work rather than walking.

Meanwhile, more than four in ten (44 per cent) use their cars to pop to the local takeaway and a third (35 per cent) use it to take a trip to the local cafe.

Commenting on the findings, The College of Podiatry said: “It’s a shame to see that so few of us are failing to use our own two feet to get about.  Walking for just 30 minutes a day can bring so many health benefits.  It’s a great way to improve fitness gently and can be a suitable form of exercise for many people.  The findings also suggest that we don’t seem to setting a good example to children showing that walking can be a great way to travel.  Being comfortable in your shoes is key to walking, wearing supportive footwear is paramount to the enjoyment of a walk. Your feet are designed to carry you around and they shouldn’t hurt on a daily basis. So if you are avoiding walking due to discomfort in your feet it is usually because you aren’t wearing the right footwear for the activity you are doing. If you are interested in walking more but are suffering with foot pain, seek professional advice.”

The Benefits of Walking:

  • Walking helps condition your body and improve overall cardiovascular health.
  • Walking carries significantly lower risk of injury than running or jogging.
  • Taking a stroll can reduce stress, give you time to clear your head and helps with better sleep.
  • It’s a free, safe, all round work-out that doesn’t need special equipment.
  • Walking an extra 20 minutes a day, will burn more than 3kg of body fat a year.
  • A single step uses up to 200 muscles.  So as well as cardio, you are also toning muscles.
  • Walking can halve your risk of coronary heart disease and help prevent some cancers and cuts cholesterol.
  • Walking helps the muscles and ligaments in our feet to work more efficiently, and helps keep them supple and flexible.
  • Consult a podiatrist if you start to develop pain when walking, or consider a visit before embarking on your new walking programme. For more information on foot health and to find a podiatrist near to you visit www.feetforlife.org.

[1] A survey conducted on behalf of The College of Podiatry by One Poll amongst 2,000 UK adults aged 18+. The survey was conducted online between 09/03/2015 – 12/03/2015

We are born to be on the move! If you read Mike Stroud’s book Survival of the Fittest your outlook on the health benefits of keeping active will be changed forever.

Sam Cam’s feet again!

Poor Samantha Cameron’s feet have been under scrutiny yet again in the national press.

The Daily Mail have published an article entitled ‘Wearing heels for more than 3 years could do you harm’  which can be found on page 3.

Quite why women’s feet are vilified so much in the press is beyond me. If women wear comfortable low heeled shoes with laces which allow plenty of toe room, they get slammed. If they wear high heels or ballet pumps or court style shoes then get their feet on show they get slammed because their feet don’t look perfect.

Women have a bit of a no win situation when it comes to shoes.

Come on men, wear some nice heels for a whole day and just see how comfortable they are.

Every one, lets show the world what normal feet look like. Take a photo of your feet and upload to  #myfeettweet

#myfeettweet

It’s Foot health Month 2015, and our aim is to stop people being ashamed of their feet and to  reclaim them!

Katie Owen (Sargasso and Grey) and I (both passionate West London businesses) want people to start being out and proud of those poor feet we often hide away. I frequently see people who won’t wear lovely open toed sandals in summer because of what their feet look like. You know what? Very few of us have feet that look perfect. To us, if they work, they are perfect!

So why not help us and Tweet Your Feet? Take a photo of your feet and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #myfeettweet. The more people that do this, the more people will realise that there are very few perfect feet out there.

3 tips for loving your feet

To support the Society of Podiatrist and Chiropodist’s upcoming Feet for Life campaign this month, here are my top tips!

Love them, Live them, and Look after them!

Love them

Don’t be ashamed of your feet; reclaim them! Why not Tweet Your Feet? Take a photo of your feet and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #myfeettweet. The more people that do this, the more people will realise that there are very few perfect feet out there.

Live with them

You only have one pair of feet, which need to work hard on a daily basis, so make life as easy as possible for them. When it comes to footwear, choose shoes that feel good as well as look good. Katie Owen, founder of luxury wide fit shoe company Sargasso & Grey, says “we like to think of our shoes as spacious rather than wide, and our motto is ‘Shoes That Don’t Squeeze’. After all, what is wrong with giving your feet a little extra space to move? Even if your feet aren’t particularly wide, think about buying a pair of wider fit shoes and put a comfortable insole inside them to help cushion your feet.”

Summer is coming, so get them out as often as you can, free from the constraints of uncomfortable footwear. Toes feel so good when free of constraints!

Look After Them

The people with the best feet are those who have a trusted podiatrist listed in their little black book, alongside their hairdresser, beautician and dentist. You should treat your feet as you would your face: just as you might get a facial, so you should get a ‘Feetcial’!  Whether this is a professional MOT for feet with a podiatrist or simply a DIY foot spa, exfoliation and moisturise, a regular foot care regime will pay huge dividends when it comes to making your feet look and feel beautiful.

Lorraine Jones is chairman of The Society of Podiatrists and Chiropodist and has her own podiatry practice in Chiswick.

Katie Owen is owner and shoe designer of Sargasso and Grey.