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Avoiding physical activity: 32 per cent exercise monthly or less

Avoiding physical activity: 32 per cent exercise monthly or less

Exercise is a part of healthy living: Most people won't need Fushi's word for that! And with the sun out a little more these days, some of us may be more inspired than we were during the winter to give it a go.

Charity the Mental Health Foundation, says that physical activity's benefits in keeping chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes at bay and cutting down on obesity are much-publicised. However it adds that this hasn't created much of an uptake in exercise.

Tying in with this week's Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs May 13th to 19th, it's brought out a report called Let's Get Physical.

The Foundation recruited YouGov to survey Brits and find out more about how they feel about exercise. The survey found that a massive 32 per cent of us exercise monthly - or less than monthly.

It defined exercise in a specific way, as strenuous or moderate physical activity going on for 20 minutes or longer.

Only 12 per cent of Brits said they did this every day in fact, with another 12 per cent taking exercise five or six times every week, and 20 per cent three or four times weekly.

A mere 11 per cent strongly felt that they enjoyed exercise, with 26 per cent claiming they didn't enjoy it.

Reasons behind exercise

The sample was also asked about the primary reason they took part in physical activity, with 18 per cent wanting to cut down on how much they weighed and 19 per cent looking to keep their weight to the same as it is now.

While 37 per cent wanted to get their physical health up, 12 per cent wanted their general mental wellbeing and health to be improved. For five per cent, the main motivation to exercise was looking good.

It was found that 29 per cent would rather take a trip to the supermarket or food store to shop for groceries than do exercise. And the same proportion would rather do housework!

Some 17 per cent would take doing laundry over physical activity, with five per cent saying they would rather fill out a tax return!

Among the people questioned, 23 per cent said they couldn't be bothered to do exercise more often, with 17 per cent blaming poor weather and 37 per cent stating the fact they did not have enough time.

Meanwhile, 21 per cent felt that exercise was boring, citing this as a reason for their lack of motivation to exercise more.

Five per cent didn't like breaking a sweat and 16 per cent though exercise was painful, while 12 per cent lacked confidence and 13 per cent though it was expensive to do physical activity.

Sadly, eight per cent said they did not like how their body looked while they were working out.

“It’s worrying that many people would rather do their housework or some other mind-numbing activities rather than put their trainers on," said a concerned Dr Andrew McCulloch from the Mental Health Foundation.

"It is startling to see that only a minority say the main reason why they exercise is to improve their general mental health and wellbeing when our research shows that even small increases in levels of activity can improve people’s wellbeing and mental health.

"With this in mind, for Mental Health Awareness Week we are aiming to change the way we view physical activity; to see it not as something we 'have to do', ‘should do or ‘out to do’ for our health but as something we do because we personally value its benefits."

 
 
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