Lazy Britain exposed!

obeseAs a nation we are becoming fatter and lazier, new research would suggest. In fact, by the year 2030 our sedentary lifestyles mean that we will expend only 25% more energy than if we had stayed in bed all day long.

The report by health group UK Active warned: “Over the last 50 years, physical activity levels have declined by 20 per cent in the UK, with projections indicating a further 15 per cent drop by 2030…if trends continue, by 2030 the average British person will use only 25 per cent more energy than they would have done had they just spent the day in bed.”

Health chiefs have previously spoke of the fact sedentary habits in England are behind 17% of premature deaths, with health implications setting the economy back over £8 billion each year.

The research involved monitoring metabolic activity levels and determined that at the current rate, a typical adult will expend approximately 190 “metabolic equivalent of task” units each week; only one quarter more than if they had slept all day and thus burnt off 151 units.

It is estimated that a person with a desk job who completed between 30 and 60 minutes of vigorous activity per day would burn off more than 240 units per week.

Within the most sedentary/inactive areas, there was found to be 342 premature deaths per 100,000 people each year, in contrast to 242 in the most active areas.

Fred Turok, Chairman of UK Active, said: “It’s no longer acceptable that physical inactivity remains the forgotten cause of death in the UK. More deprived areas are faring worse in a physical inactivity pandemic, with no national strategy to improve our fitness levels.”

Mr Turok added that the biggest gain to our nation’s health may be felt if those who previously did no exercise, even did just 10 minutes of exercise per day.

Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support said: “Today’s report exposes the stark reality of physical inactivity in England and the detrimental effect this is having on our health. If being active was a cancer drug we would call it a ‘wonder drug’. It is so important for cancer patients to keep active to speed up the recovery process and reduce the risk of the disease coming back. Yet as a nation we continue to ignore what is an extremely effective, simple and cost-saving solution.”

Top 10 worst areas for activity levels

Place/Percentage of people deemed ‘inactive’

Manchester 40

Sandwell 39

Salford 39

Bradford 38

Dudley 38

Slough 38

Sunderland 37

Blackburn with Darwen 37

Coventry 37

Oldham 36

Top 10 best areas for activity levels

Place/Percentage of people classed as ‘inactive’

Wokingham 18

Richmond-upon-Thames 20

Islington 20

Windsor and Maidenhead 20

Bournemouth 20

Kensington and Chelsea 21

Hammersmith and Fulham 21

Lambeth 22

Oxfordshire 22

Bracknell Forest 23

Source: UK Active

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