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Low rates of physical activity sparks concerns over long term physical health

Partnership between Tesco, Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) urges adults in the UK to take simple steps to protect their long-term health.

 

Lack of motivation and the price of fitness classes are preventing over three quarters of UK adults to meet the government’s recommended guidelines on moderate exercise.

Adults reported spending an average of 88 minutes a week on moderate exercise such as walking or cycling. This is substantially below the 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week recommended by government.

A survey for the National Charity Partnership - a partnership between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco –found one in four (25 per cent) UK adults say the cost of fitness classes stops them being active.

And with a yearly gym pass now costing £368 on average, the partnership is urging more people to consider free activities in their local area and take small steps to better health.

According to the survey findings, while nine in ten people agree being active can help to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease, almost half (46 per cent) admit they lacked motivation.

The partnership is funding a range of free activities across the UK. Activities currently underway include, small steps to 5k, cycling training and clubs, and walking clubs in Castlederg and Derry. A six week Walk, Jog and Run Club in Thanet and the Beat the Street game launches in Sandwell, Birmingham on 18 February.

For more information about Let’s Do This and to sign up for physical activity programmes in your area, please visit lets-dothis.org.uk.

Jenna Hall, Programme Director for the National Charity Partnership, said: “Being physically active can help reduce the likelihood of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. Even just ten minutes of a free activity such as walking, jogging or skipping can help to make a big difference to your long- term physical health.”

The charity initiative is calling on adults in the UK to protect their wellbeing and encouraging people to use its free online motivational tool to help people set simple, realistic goals to move more. It is part of the partnership’s Let's Do This campaign to support adults to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease by taking small steps towards healthier lifestyles.

Ms Hall added, “More than four million people in the UK already have Type 2 diabetes and around seven million live with heart and circulatory disease.

“Millions more are at risk of these potentially life-threatening conditions, but, they are largely preventable and being active is an effective way to help reduce your risk.”

 

For all editorial enquiries, including a breakdown of the data by age, gender, region and BMI, contact Liz Broad, Marketing and Communications Officer for the National Charity Partnership on 020 3757 7835 or email broade@TescoCharityPartnership.org.uk.

 

Notes to editors:

Survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by the National Charity Partnership. Mortar London. December 2016. Key findings include:

  • 76 per cent of UK adults do less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week
  • UK adults on average do 88.3 hours of moderate exercise a week
  • 26 per cent of UK adults say the price of fitness classes are a barrier to being more active.
  • 46 per cent of UK adults say lack of motivation is a barrier to being more active
  • 90 per cent of UK adults agree that being active can help to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease