Four per cent of UAE residents walk on a weekly basis compared to more than 40 per cent in the United Kingdom, in spite of the fact that the walking infrastructure in the UAE is well advanced compared to most countries in the world.
This was revealed in a new study conducted by RYN Middle East, the sponsor of the Seoul Olympic Sportsand the international manufacturer of functional shoes.
Dr M Ashfaq Konchwalla, Consultant Orthopaedic & Sports Surgeon, Medcare Hospital, Dubai,said: “Walking makes us live longer. Walking 150 minutes per week makes a person lose seven per cent of the body weight (12-15 pounds), which reduces risk of diseases. Walking strengthens heart and is also good for the brain and the bones. It also helps alleviate symptoms of depression, improves fitness and enhances physical function.”
The study also revealed that a large chunk of people in the UAE do not walk properly. If every adult extended their physical activity to 30 minutes of brisk walking, each person would burn off more than enough to compensate for the extra 100 calories they are eating not to mention increasing physical activity. The study also emphasised that the right way of walking increases percentage of body fat burned, boosts energy levels and reduces health risks.
The foot and ankle contain 26 individual bones, 33 joints, ligaments and muscles, tendons, blood vessels, nerves and tissues. All these foot components combine to provide the body with support, balance and mobility.
Feet are one the most utilised pillars of the human body. They are constantly under stress when walking. They work for us the whole day, whether we stand, play, run, or walk.
Structurally, the foot has three main parts: the forefoot, the midfoot and the hind foot.
A network of muscles, tendons and ligaments supports the bones and joints in the foot.
There are a group of muscles in the foot that give it its shape by holding the bones in position and expand and contract to allow movement.
Dubai is planning to build air-conditioned walkways to link major buildings and encourage more people to walk around the city.
Walking is one of the safe modes of mobility, which has good health benefits. It is also an economical mode of mobility that saves time compared to vehicles, particularly in congested places and during peak times.
This is very important to enhance the culture of walking in the city. The walkways, called pedways, will link major buildings, shopping centres, metro stations and bus stops together.
The aim is to make Dubai a pedestrian-friendly city and to encourage people to walk to cover short distances.
Proper walking straightens the spine, strengthens back muscles and reduces stress on joints, the study concluded.