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UK parents step up and make walking a family priority

13 August 2013
Feature Healthcare
More than two thirds of UK parents are planning to get out there and make the simple family walk a priority this summer, according to new research commissioned by Boots UK in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.1  
The news comes at a welcome time as the research suggests children today are half as likely to go for daily walks compared to their parents when they were the same age.1 The findings also uncovered a huge appetite for walking as when asked if they would like to go for more walks as a family a massive 84% (n=896) of parents said yes1 with keeping active (86%; n=770) and  spending quality time together (72%, n=641)1 being cited as the top reasons for getting out there.
In a bid to help families keep active, Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support are encouraging people to get out there and make time for what matters to them, by gathering their family and children for a lovely day out and rediscovering the joy of walking together, all while raising money to help support the two million people living with and beyond cancer in the UK.2 There are nine walks happening in August and September, offering three and eight mile routes in countryside locations across the UK so everyone regardless of age and ability can take part. People can visit to sign up and fundraise.
Walking has a range of health benefits – it is good for the heart and lungs, as well as helping to improve muscle tone and reduce body fat. Regular walking can also reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and the NHS recommends walking 10,000 steps a day to help keep you healthy.3 During and after cancer treatment, physical activity such as walking can help people living with cancer take back control of their lives, reduce the risk of recurrence and help to recover physical function, manage fatigue, improve quality of life and mental health and control body weight.4
Olympic cyclist Jess Varnish, who is taking part in the Regent’s Park walk says: “I took part in Miles for Macmillan Big Beautiful walks last year with my family and I loved it! Walking with family and friends is a great way to have fun and feel good especially when it’s contributing to such a great cause. The atmosphere at the event is fantastic and the difference you can make to those affected by cancer is immeasurable.” 
Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Community and Giving, Boots UK, comments: “Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support are working together to ensure everyone affected by cancer, wherever they are in the UK, has access the best cancer information and support in their local community and we know raising funds is a vital way to support this.. We are delighted once again to be supporting Macmillan’s national sponsored walking events, Miles for Macmillan. Together we’ve already raised £6 million for Macmillan and we’re looking forward to raising even more.. We know how important it is for families to make time for what matters and are therefore encouraging everyone to get together with their loved ones and take part in a big, beautiful walk for Macmillan.”
Lynda Thomas, Director of Fundraising, Macmillan Cancer Support, says: “Spending time with friends and family while being in beautiful scenic surroundings and being active is what we’re trying to encourage people to do through signing up and being sponsored to take part in one of our Big Beautiful walks. We know being active has its health benefits and even a short stroll can make a difference.  Cancer is often the toughest fight many people will face. We are working with Boots UK to ensure everyone affected by cancer, wherever they are in the UK, has access to the best cancer information and support in their local community. By taking part in the walks and fundraising, we will together help to make sure no one has to face cancer alone.”



For more information
Please contact the Boots UK Press Office on 020 7025 6657 /  or Lucy Morrison on 020 7840 4985/

  1. Online research conducted among 1,073 UK adults who have children aged between 4 and 16 years. The research took place between 09.07.2013 and 22.07.2013.
  2. Maddams J, et al. Cancer prevalence in the United Kingdom: estimates for 2008. British Journal of Cancer. 2009. 101: 541-547
  3. NHS Choices. Walking for health. Available at: Last viewed July 2013.
  4. Macmillan Cancer Support (2011) The importance of physical activity for people living with and beyond cancer: A concise evidence review

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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and around 1,900 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

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*Figures accurate as of 31 May 2024