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Brits all puffed out

31st March 2011

A study released today by Benenden Healthcare Society reveals that the average Brit is so unhealthy they are left gasping for breath after running for a bus. 

The worrying statistic emerged in a report which also found 31 per cent - or a massive 15 MILLION - are 'puffed out' after a quick trip up the stairs.

Three in five went as far as to admit they were 'left sweating' after running the Hoover around the house for just 15 minutes and 37 per cent 'need a sit down' after mowing the lawn.

Yesterday Neil Barnes, a spokesman for the Society, which carried out the nationally representative survey of 2,000 Brits, said: ‘It’s clear that Brits are finding the simplest exercises a challenge and it’s quite shocking to see such relatively short distances putting people quickly out of breath.

‘Small wonder, then, that an easy stereotype arises of Brits being ‘couch potatoes’ slumped in front of the television.

‘Benenden Healthcare believes that an active attitude towards health and wellbeing can help towards a positive lifestyle and good mental wellbeing.’

Jane Abbott, Hospital Director for Benenden Hospital, an independent hospital and subsidiary of the Society, advised: ‘Simple activities such as cleaning, gardening and washing the car are day-to-day activities that can contribute to a daily exercise regime, but to avoid exercise altogether, as many Brits seem to be doing, is unhealthy and a risk to your overall wellbeing.’

‘We should not be afraid to weigh ourselves as this is one indicator of our state of health. Being overweight can indicate an unhealthy lifestyle and doing some exercise is really important. Start small by getting off the sofa and doing a bit of housework or taking a quick stroll around the block and gradually increase the activities you do and notice the difference it makes to how you feel.’

The study quizzed 18-65 year-olds on their levels of fitness including; how far they can run, how many are left feeling puffed out doing what and how much exercise they do.

The study found eight in ten have been left gasping for air after trying to catch a bus to work with the typical Brit walking up just 20 steps before needing to stop to gulp in air - and they can only manage to run 88 metres before coming to an abrupt halt. Three in ten feel achy and breathless after lifting shopping in and out of the car or to the house.

More than half (54 per cent) would always choose the lazy option of jumping in a lift or onto an escalator rather than face trudging up a set of steps - and a feeble seven in ten would get the car out of the garage to drive one mile or LESS, which would take just ten minutes to walk.

The sorry state of the nation's lack of fitness also emerged from the stats - with one in five trying to avoid any forms of exercise. Only a doctor's warning (48 per cent) or the inability to fit into clothing (43 per cent) would force Brits to overhaul their lifestyle or eating habits - and shockingly six in ten would only be sparked into action if they had a heart attack.

The average Brit does a measly two forms of exercise a week, with each session lasting 37 minutes, totalling one hour and 14 minutes. But a dismal one in ten haven't worked up a sweat for a year or more. 

 

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