Monty Python's Silly Walks could help you to hit your exercise goals

Virgin Radio

23 Dec 2022, 15:45

Credit: Rex

If you're looking to set some fitness goals for new year, the Ministry of Silly Walks may help you to reach your total number of steps.

As well as making you laugh, the funny walks can increase your fitness.

If you switch up your walking style for 12 minutes, you could burn an extra 100 calories a day.

New research examined the efficiency of the unusual gait.

Researchers say the walk is so difficult to do it counts as "vigorous physical activity".

That's according to the team from Arizona State University.

Doing 12 minutes a day of silly walks will help you to burn 100 extra calories.

Some 11 minutes a day helps to you to reach your NHS's recommended weekly quota of 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. 

The researchers got 13 people to walk around a room for five minutes, on three occasions.

On the first walk around, they used their own style of walking.

The second walk around they mimicked Michael Palin's walk, and then thirdly copied the silly walk of Cleese’s Mr Teabag.

“Each minute of Teabag walking increased energy expenditure over participants’ usual walking by an average of 8.0 calories in men and by 5.2 calories in women, and qualified as vigorous intensity physical activity,” the team writes in their study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ)

“Any joy derived from inefficient walking would further promote its uptake,” the scientists add. 

"People could engage in periodic bursts of inefficient walking, perhaps lasting only a few minutes at a time, at times and places that are most convenient for them," the scientists say. 

"In fact, inefficient walking can be performed entirely indoors. This might appeal to those who live in places where outdoor spaces for recreation are inaccessible or unsafe, or indeed to people who are hesitant to engage in inefficient walking in public.

"Had an initiative to promote inefficient movement been adopted in the early 1970s, we might now be living among a healthier society. 

"Efforts to promote higher energy— and perhaps more joyful—walking should ensure inclusivity and inefficiency for all."

They found that the Teabag walk was 2.5 times better at burning calories than normal walking. 

Going to the gym and running, walking up the stairs, swimming or skipping all count.