According to research by Opinion Matters, commissioned by Aramark, the average person in the UK and Ireland gets just 48 minutes of weekly exercise, less than one third of the recommended amount, which is 150 minutes according to the National Guidelines for Physical Activity.
The research, which surveyed over 2,000 people across the UK and Ireland, found that most people (61%) did not know how much exercise was recommended according to the latest national guidelines. Interestingly, men tended to get more physical activity than women in every age bracket surveyed – the average man in the 18 to 24 year old bracket got almost 2 hours of exercise per week (115 minutes), compared to women of the same age who got on average 90 minutes per week. Men in the 51 – 66 age bracket got almost double the weekly amount of exercise (25 minutes) compared to their female counterparts (15 minutes).
To encourage healthier lifestyles in their clients, Aramark is launching its April Wellness in the Workplace campaign as part of their annual wellbeing programme. The food services company's campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating, digital detox and regular exercise for physical and mental health.
“The results of this research are quite shocking.” Alan Quinlan, former Ireland and Munster rugby player and Aramark Health and Wellness ambassador, said. “The average person gets less than a third of the recommended amount of weekly exercise and what’s even more shocking is the fact that most people don’t even know what the national guidelines are.
“The approaching summer months make is easier to spend more time outside and get fit. Staying active doesn’t have to mean major commitments like completing monthly triathlons or marathons; it can mean fitting exercise into your daily routine, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to work instead of driving, or taking an exercise class a couple of times a week.”
According to the National Guidelines for Physical Activity, adults (18 – 64 year olds) need at least 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week, or 150 minutes a week. Moderate activity is when the heart is beating faster and the breathing is harder than normal.
“While the general population needs to increase their levels of physical activity, it is important to emphasise that any level of physical activity is better for your health than none at all.” Elbha Purcell, Company Dietician for Aramark, said.
“It is important to increase exercise commitments gradually rather than extreme commitments that are more difficult to maintain over a long period of time.”
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