WELL, don't just sit there.

Off you go. Get out and walk. Walk away. Walk somewhere, anywhere. But walk. And don't, for God's sake, sit, for that is the new smoking.

Okay, I'm getting a message in my earpiece: stand easy for now. Don't walk just yet. Finish the paper first. But, as soon as we're done, out you go, waddling as if your life depended on it. For, as we shall see, it does.

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It's the ubiquitous advice, the health trope de nos jours: walk, walk, walk.

It's good advice. No getting round it. Walking is grand. I know: there isn't much to it, and it's hardly up there with the triathlon.

Blobular friends often say to me: "Yes, walking: that's the one for me. Keeps you fit."

And I say: "No offence, but you are a baby elephant or perhaps a stripling hippo.

"Walking is just an excuse for not taking any proper exercise."

And they say: "Yes, I take your point. Thanks for bringing that to my attention."

I've taken liberties in my presentation of the conversation, but you get my drift.

Walking won't lose you much weight nor turn you into Schwarzenegger, A.

But, while walking may be the chancer's exercise, it can also save your life.

According to research by Walking for Health, a network of walking groups run by Macmillan Cancer Support and the Ramblers, cancer patients can cut their risk of dying by up to half, simply by walking a mile a day. Consider this: from the day we're born, or shortly thereafter, we are walking towards the grave. And yet the more we walk, the more the grave recedes.

It's like one of those bendy dimension things that Einstein warbled on about.

According to Macmillan, physical activity is a "wonder drug". It reduces the bad hormones produced by body fat.

Your best bet is probably walking to the gym. Exercise classes or sports stop you thinking, at least about anything other than the matter in hand. Walking by itself can make you think and get things in perspective, which is always depressing.

But you can take music or a friend or a promise to yourself of a nice slice of cucumber when you get back. And the physical activity itself can boost your morale.

Walking is better than nothing and, arguably, better than dying. So, there you go: toddle off now.