Quarter of Norfolk adults walked less than once a month in 2020

File photo dated 29/11/16 of men walking near St Paul's Cathedral, London, as a study has found that

A quarter of Norfolk adults walked less than once a month in 2020. - Credit: PA

A quarter of Norfolk adults took a short walk less than once a month last year, amid changes to travel habits during lockdown.

The new research from Sport England as part of its active lives survey asked 2,948 people in the county how often they took a ten minute walk in 2020.

It said a huge fall in walking for travel across England shows the "unprecedented" impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The results, published by the Department for Transport, show 75pc walked at least once per month for any reason – down from 80pc the year before.

This was the lowest figure since comparable records began in 2015-16.

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The proportion of people who walked for leisure – for recreation, health, competition, or training – once per month did not change from 69pc.

With the same figure for walking to travel such as commuting or visiting a friend, fell significantly from 43pc to 31pc.

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Across England, those who took monthly stroll for any reason fell from 80pc to 75pc – the lowest on record.

Just 36pc of adults walked at least once a month for travel, down from 49pc a year before.

Lisa O’Keefe, director of insight at Sport England, said: “This reflects the unprecedented pandemic disruptions of that time.

"Anxiety about going out and catching or spreading the virus, financial fears, more responsibilities at home and lack of access to private outdoor space all contributed."

Despite the fall in walking, the charity Sustrans said the number of miles cycled and walked per person in 2020 saw a boost from 259 to 308 on average.

The proportion of adults nationally who cycled at least once per month was unchanged from 16% a year previously.

In Norfolk, 19pc rode their bikes at least once every four weeks – compared to 20pc last year.

Rachel White, head of public affairs at Sustrans, called for local authorities to invest in quality infrastructure for everyday trips to make it easier to leave the car at home.

She added: "We are at a critical point where we can positively shape the new normal in Britain.

"We must enable people to use their cars less and travel actively more often, for the benefit of our own health and the future of the planet.”

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