Walking in groups can motivate people to exercise regularly, which improves their physical activity and better quality of life, reveals a new study.
The research was led by Anglia Ruskin University and the study was published in the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care.
The review analysed 18 studies of physically healthy adults walking in groups compared with walking alone or not at all and found that people who had undertaken group walking were more likely to have kept up the exercise by the end of the study, which was an average of six months later.
The World Health Organisation recommends that adults undertake 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week. However, only 67% of men and 55% of women in the UK meet these guidelines. Dropout rates for exercise initiatives are also known to be high.
Lead author Professor Catherine Meads, of Anglia Ruskin University, said: "Walking in groups is a safe and inexpensive intervention that can be delivered easily and successfully in the community.
"At a time when we are being encouraged to meet physical activity guidelines, a large proportion of the public fail to do so. Our review found that people may be more likely to exercise if they have social support.
"Walking in groups tended to increase life satisfaction and may also improve social connectedness."