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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

When it comes to our health, every step really does matter

A small change in your habits and daily patterns can make all the difference

In the challenging quest for work/life balance, every step counts. Richard Drew /AP
In the challenging quest for work/life balance, every step counts. Richard Drew /AP

Achieving a realistic work-life balance can be a daunting challenge. Long hours at work and little or no leisure time are a recipe for burnout. Heart ailments, obesity, sleep disorders, depression, irritability, insecurity and even nervous breakdowns are common among those who lead a life most wobbly.

And when people at the mall, for example, choose to take the lift instead of walking another five or so metres to the stairs, we have a problem that compounds the dangers still further.

A study published in the science journal Nature crunched data about step counts collected from smartphones around the world. While the global average is 4,961 daily steps, the UAE ranked lower, with an average of 4,516. To be sure, this might be a reflection of the nature of our cities, built for cars and commuting rather than walking. Nevertheless, we should all endeavour to walk a little bit more.

Of course, many companies now provide wellness programmes to staff, promoting healthy eating and fitness. Yet, little can be achieved without personal commitment and the simplest way to do this is to start walking more. It doesn’t require expensive equipment and you don’t need a gym membership or personal trainer to get started.

We are responsible for our health. And though the summer heat can discourage workout plans, keep in mind that it is the small things that can make a difference. So pace yourself at work, and then take a few more paces in the day. Every little step counts.