A campaign to get people walking in Northamptonshire has been launched after it was revealed the county was the fifth fattest in the country.
The county council is challenging residents to walk 20 million steps during a weekend in September.
A spokesman said: “By increasing the amount of physical exercise and activity that is undertaken, people in the county can have an increased sense of wellbeing, more self-confidence and even a better life expectancy.
“To kick off this work, the council is challenging everyone who lives or works in the county to go for a walk during the weekend of September 5-7.
“Families, couples, individuals, community groups, businesses, societies and clubs – everyone is being asked to complete and walk and then log the number of miles they walked and how many people have completed that distance.
“The council will be counting these steps until the county as a whole reaches the target of 20 Million Steps.”
Cabinet member for public health and wellbeing Councillor Robin Brown added: “Northamptonshire is a wonderful place with a lot to offer, but it’s time we faced up to the reality that we’re the fifth fattest county in the country.
“One in ten of our children are obese when they start school.
“Plus 80 per cent of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes, not to mention 33% of cancers, could be prevented by people following a more healthy lifestyle.
“These are shocking statistics and we want to do something about them.
“We believe that together the county can achieve 20 Million Steps in a weekend. To reach this target would be a real achievement and something everyone can be proud of. It would be the start of something great, as we all start getting more active and more healthy.
“After all, why should we settle for being the fifth fattest county when we could be one of the fittest?”
To find out more about 20 Million Steps and how to take part, visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/20millionsteps