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‘Sedentary Britons’ are risking their health

19 July 2012 - 12:57pm

Britain has been named as one of the most sedentary countries in the world, according to a new study published in The Lancet.

Gym exercise
The CSP recommends that adults do around half an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity per day

The research reveals that almost two-thirds (63.3 per cent) of the British population fails to meet recommended levels of physical activity.

It also warns that a lack of exercise increases the risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and breast and colon cancer.

Researchers used World Health Organisation survey data to compare 122 countries. Britain was found to have the third-highest proportion of inactive adults in Europe, after Malta and Serbia.

Global deaths

The report’s authors warn that lack of exercise is now causing around 5.3 million global deaths, the same number as caused by smoking.

CSP professional advisor Clare Claridge said: ‘This report provides yet more evidence of the drastic impact that physical activity patterns are having, both in the UK and across the world. 

‘Physiotherapy staff  have an invaluable contribution to make, whether through providing advice and support related to physical activity or other health-related lifestyle behaviours.  

‘Modern challenges’

‘As a profession we need to ensure our practice is adapting to meet these modern challenges.’

Lynne Stockbridge, CSP campaigns and communications director, said the findings echoed the society’s recent report published with Arthritis Research UK, which found only five per cent of adults were meeting recommended  activity levels.

‘This new survey data from over 100 countries confirms that far too few people in the UK are doing the recommended amount of exercise each week,’ she said.

Recommended activity

‘Ideally, adults should be doing about half an hour a day of moderate intensity physical activity, and children should be exercising for at least an hour each day,’ Ms Stockbridge added.  

Further information on the Lancet report, the CSP public health resource pack and the CSP/Arthritis Research UK survey can be found via the links below.


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