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Thursday, March 28th, 2013 at 12:36 pm
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Health

Sit Less and Walk More

Following his election last weekend as Ramblers Scotland President, Dr Andrew Murray has called for Scots to “Sit Less, and Walk More”, and for ongoing and sustained support from Governments and Local Authorities to achieve this. After completing his year as the Scottish Government’s first physical activity champion, the 32 year old Aberdonian, now based in Edinburgh, is helping the Ramblers to encourage everyone to put his advice into practice.

Andrew Murray said, “It’s great to have this opportunity to support the Ramblers in their efforts to promote walking for everyone. Most exercise taken in Scotland is by walking, and with the prospect of better health and happiness, the benefits are enormous.

“Approximately two thirds of Scots would benefit from more exercise –  but most don’t think this applies to them. Physical inactivity costs the Scottish economy about £660 million each year. Each step is a step to health. We need a huge leap forward in public understanding so that the importance of walking and other forms of physical activity is built into everyday life, from cradle to grave.  It’s time to spend less time sitting at the desk and grab every opportunity to keep on moving.”

Andrew also welcomed the efforts being made by Ramblers Scotland to deliver physical activity legacy benefits from the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. He added, “I really enjoyed working with the Ramblers when I was promoting physical activity for the Scottish Government. The Ramblers Scotland new website, TAKE 30, is great for persuading even the most inactive person to get their legs working again, all the way from sofa to summit. GPs and other health professionals in Scotland could look at TAKE 30 when they are helping patients to become more active.  Take 30 minutes a day, five days a week for a walk, leaving the other 23 and ½ hours a day free for you!

Finally Andrew Murray gave support to the Ramblers volunteers who are the backbone of the organisation.

“My first annual meeting with Ramblers Scotland was great fun and an opportunity to meet up with the volunteers who lead the 54 Groups in Ramblers Scotland. For anyone who wants to get active more, explore new places or simply make new friends who enjoy the outdoors, the Ramblers should have something for everyone.  It is time to find out if there is a local Group near you!  There are also a number of  short circular walks of 15, 30 and 60 minutes (bronze, silver and gold in length) being developed, called Medal Routes, as a legacy for the Commonwealth Games.

Ramblers Scotland Convener, David Thomson, welcomed Andrew’s election, saying“We are delighted that Andrew Murray has joined our team. Over the next few years we will be working hard to help deliver physical activity benefits from the Commonwealth Games and helping the Scottish Government to develop the National Walking Strategy. We need a 10 year plan to ensure that Scotland has the fittest population on the planet, along with path networks that are as good as anywhere else in Europe, by 2023. Apparently Andrew is planning a big crazy trip to Africa this summer…. Not only is he a fantastic athlete, with his running to the Sahara, racing at the North Pole and speeding across Antarctic, but he also understands, from experience as a GP, how to encourage all those who need to walk a few more steps on the way to a healthy lifestyle. I look forward to starting along that path with Andrew at our side.”

Dr Andrew Murray is a GP and Sports and Exercise Medicine doctor, based in Edinburgh. In 2012, he won the North Pole Marathon, the Antarctic Ice Marathon, and ran 7 ultra marathons on 7 continents in under a week.

A recent lecture that he gave appears at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKvd-yPFuKM&list=PLsRNoUx8w3rM_7URm7bIQXHvQzSOOVigQ

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