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Walk, if you want enjoy a robust mental health

People who walk regularly are more likely experience improvement in their mental and emotional health than those who do not.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 08, 2017 10:59 IST
Walking helps control stress among people across age groups, say researchers.
Walking helps control stress among people across age groups, say researchers.(Shutterstock)

Walking not only helps in staying fit, but is also considered one of the most effective antidepressants, claims a new study.

About 97% of all the people who walk regularly experience improvement in their mental and emotional health, according to Max Bupa Walk for Health Survey.

Max Bupa Walk for Health Survey is a study on walking behaviour of millennials and elderly carried across four cities, including in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Jaipur.

The survey also revealed that walking helps control stress among people across age groups.

While 42% of the elderly feel that walking helps beat stress, 50% of the millennials experience reduction of stress and hypertension, post walking, it added.

This is the highest for millennials in Bangalore at 68%, followed by Delhi (66%) Mumbai (53%) and Jaipur (48%).

Interestingly, over 40% of the respondents are motivated to walk because of interesting walking apps and gadgets that help them track their health, it said.

About 60% of the respondents use gadgets while walking, it added.

Usage of gadgets is more prominent among millennials in Delhi (70%) and Mumbai (72%).

The Survey further said those who don’t walk regularly are more prone to depression — nearly 15% of non-walkers admitted to be suffering from depression and high stress levels.

Among the depressed patients those who walk regularly, 59% said they forget about their illness while walking, 50% walk to break the monotony of daily life, 39% feel walking makes them happier, while 26% walk to improve their work-life balance.

Walking gives 19% millennials time for self-introspection, while it gives 21% elderly the feeling of self-reliance.

The survey said walking helps patients with depression interact with other people outside their house. Interestingly this percentage was higher for millennials (20%) as compared to the elderly (12%).

About 43% are unable to walk as long daily commute leaves them with no time for walking, 29% get bored while walking and believe that walking will not have a positive impact on their personality, 21% lack company to walk, and 21% are unaware of the benefits of walking on their mental health, the survey said.

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