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 are expected to sign up for this year’s Great Birmingham 10K, on Sunday, May 6, and after 300 people walked the route in 2017, the Walking Wave is proving a popular option for first-time participants or those looking to change lifestyles.

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 the most recent research carried out by government body Public Health England (PHE).

Taking at least one brisk ten-minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%.

PHE’s 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 Simplyhealth - the UK’s leading provider of everyday health cash plans, dental payment and pet health plans.

Commenting, Romana Abdin, CEO of Simplyhealth, said: “Our purpose is to help people make the most of life through better everyday health and we strongly believe that movement plays an active part in achieving that.

“It’s fantastic that so many people of all ages and abilities will be taking part in the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k this year. Whether you’re walking, running or jogging we’ll be supporting you at every stage of your journey.”

David Hart, Partnerships Director for the Great Run Company, organisers of the Simplyhealth 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 greatrun.org/great-birmingham-10k