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Brits are missing out on chance to improve health on holiday, new survey shows

CSP press release published on 1 July 2009

Physiotherapists are urging us all to make the most of the exercise opportunities a summer holiday can offer and enjoy some physical activity

According to the CSP survey, commissioned for a new campaign, 'Move for Health’, which launches on 1 July, nearly two-thirds of adults (63 per cent) are currently putting their health at risk because they do not get enough exercise. And more than half (56 per cent) of people are not clear about how much exercise they should be doing to keep fit and ward off illness and obesity. CSP spokesperson, and ‘Move for Health’ project lead, Bridget Hurley says, 'Many people make a short-term effort with exercise to help them get in shape before setting off on holiday. Most then forget their good intentions on reaching their destination and relax into a routine of eating, drinking and general lazing around.

'To really feel and see the benefits of exercise you've got to stick at it, something our survey shows people say they are too busy or too tired to manage. A break away from the daily grind is a great time to kick start an exercise routine that will get you back to work feeling more energised. Everyone can benefit from taking at least 30 minutes exercise five times each week, as well as eating five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables daily. Children need at least an hour of physical activity every day.'

Currently, only 5 per cent of people questioned in the survey consider facilities to improve fitness important when choosing a holiday, whereas cost is a major consideration for most (70 per cent).

'Whether you're saving money by staying put, or heading off to sunnier shores this summer, a holiday can give you the time you need to focus on fitness', Bridget says.

To help you build safe exercise into your holiday, follow the tips in the CSP’s new healthy holiday guide (see foot of page). For example,

  • If you’d planned a day at the seaside, but the weather has let you down, don’t despair! Instead of using the beach for sun bathing use the open space to play some sport such as cricket, football or frisbee. Remember to follow a sun protection regime even on a cloudy day.
  • Top tip: many people are unaccustomed to running on an uneven surface like sand. For beach activities, wear closed shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and sandy. They will provide you with more support than something like flip-flops, and can prevent inflammation and pain in your feet, knees or calves.
  • If you’re going sightseeing, plan your route in advance so that you can minimise your use of local transport and walk as much as possible. You’ll get some exercise and can enjoy your surroundings if you have the time to look, rather than whizzing past in a taxi or bus.
  • Top tip: make sure you wear comfortable footwear, and if carrying a bag wear a sturdy rucksack over both shoulders to spread the weight.

There's no need to let these good habits slip once you get back to work. The CSP's Easy Exercise Guide will tell you how to build exercise into the busiest of schedules. See our Move for Health page for free advice and leaflets. Ends For further information please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 1111 or on 07786 332197.

Notes to editors

  1. The survey was conducted by Opinium Research for CSP through an online poll of 2084 British adults between 9 and 14 April 2009. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. See full findings on our survey data page.
  2. The CSP’s Move for Health campaign launches on 1 July 2009 and aims to promote good health through encouraging appropriate physical activity and by highlighting how physiotherapists can help to prevent illness and obesity.
  3. The recommended amount of exercise is one hour every day for children and thirty minutes at least five times a week for adults.

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