Sign-up figures have revealed more people than ever are choosing to walk the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k with its ‘Walking Wave' growing in popularity.
More than 8,000 participants of all abilities signed up for this year's Great Birmingham 10k, making it the biggest to date.
Some 300 of the participants walked the 10k course and even more are expected to join the Walking Wave at next year's event; recently confirmed for a return to the city on Sunday, May 6, during the Bank Holiday weekend.
The news comes as middle-aged people are being urged to walk faster to help stay healthy, amid concern high levels of inactivity may be harming their health.
4 out of 10 (41%) adults aged 40 to 60 in England walk less than 10 minutes continuously each month at a brisk pace, according to research carried out by government body Public Health England (PHE).
Over 6.3 million adults aged 40 to 60 do not achieve 10 minutes of continuous brisk walking over the course of a month and are missing out on important health benefits.
Taking at least one brisk ten-minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%.
PHE's new One You physical activity campaign is encouraging adults to build 10 minutes continuous brisk walking into their day as a simple way to improve their health.
The severity of the current physical inactivity epidemic amongst adults contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK and is costing the NHS over £0.9 billion per year.
The Great Birmingham 10k is organised by the Great Run Company and title-sponsored by health and dental plan providers Simplyhealth.
Simplyhealth's #millionsmoving campaign has a goal to improve everyday health by encouraging people to run, jog, walk, or simply move together.
James Glover, Simplyhealth's Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, said: “Our own independent research through YouGov also shows a significant decline in exercise in middle age, which is why we are so committed to the #millionsmoving campaign.
“Our ambition is to help people make the most of life by supporting their everyday health, and we strongly believe that movement and activity are the cornerstone to better health.
“www.millionsmoving.co.uk is a great resource for those who are looking for inspiration.”
David Hart, Director of Communications for the Great Run Company, organisers of the Great Birmingham 10k, said: “The walking wave at the 10k has proved a popular addition and reinforces the fact that we want to make the event as inclusive as possible.
“We hope that we can inspire more people to get involved, both for the health benefits and to experience the enjoyment of a big event atmosphere.”
Sign up for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K 2018 at http://www.greatrun.org/great-birmingham-10k