Walking Kiwis' preferred form of exercise

  • 04/04/2016

Whether it's walking the dog or pushing the pram, Kiwis' preferred sporting activity is taking a stroll.

"Yes, I walk most days -- it's for relaxing and chilling," one walker said.

"First it's exercise, next it's the beautiful view, enjoying company."

Exercise scientist Greg Anson says it's cheap and accessible and a good way to get fit.

"If you walk reasonably actively for 150 minutes a week, you're going to satisfy the requirements of activity for the week -- and it's pretty easy to do," he said.

Walking has gone up nearly 30 percent since 2010, with 44 percent now saying it's their number one sporting activity.

There have also been big increases in cycling, going to the gym and running.

But rugby union, rugby league and fishing have all seen a drop.

"Our prefered thing is probably walking and tramping," another passerby said.

"Instead of just having a bash on the field and a concussion or whatever, it's definitely an easy sport to do, isn't it?"

One theory is rugby's taken a hit because of concussion fears.

"That's likely to have an influence like pressing the pause button and having people reassess what they're doing, and have parents reassess what their children are doing," Greg Anson said.

However, that doesn't mean our love affair with rugby is over.

The Rugby World Cup final was the second most watched television programme in 2015.

But for many Kiwis it seems the playing days are over, swapping rugby boots for walking shoes.