Work hard play hard? Half of UK workers are too busy to exercise

UK workers can’t fit exercise into their daily schedules as those aged between 25 and 34, claim they do not have the time.

A new survey from office furniture providers DBI Furniture Solutions has reveals that 46 per cent of the working UK public say they do not have enough time for daily exercise.

The survey aimed to find out when and how people are scheduling in their quota of exercise each day, and the results showed that almost half of us are too busy to workout.

It’s a particularly big issue for women, as 48 per cent claim they struggle to fit exercise into their busy schedules, compared with 43 per cent of men.

Also, it appears that young professionals are the least likely to factor exercise into their routines, 52 per cent state there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

Those who do workout are most likely to hit the gym, participate in a sport or go for a run after work (26 per cent), whereas 17 per cent get their quota of exercise in at the very start of the day.

The burden rests with employers

Interestingly, a mere 6 per cent say they use their lunch break in order to get active, while 5 per cent report their employer regularly organises ‘team energisers’ during the working day so that everybody has an opportunity to squeeze in a workout.

The Department of Health recommends that adults partake in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, but many of us are falling woefully short of this.

The total cost of inactivity in England amounts to £8.2 billion a year, so it’s vital that changes are made.

Latest statistics published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) show that the average level of worker absence stands at 6.3 days a year per employee in the UK – costing companies a median £522 for each member of staff on an annual basis.

It’s imperative that more businesses take a proactive approach to ensuring their staff stay active. It’s worth their while in the long run, as fit, healthy staff are far less likely to take time off sick.

This guide from DBI Furniture Solutions is aimed at helping companies to encourage their staff to get active.

Nick Pollitt, managing director at the company says, ‘It’s worrying, but perhaps unsurprising, that such a high percentage of the British working public struggle to fit exercise into their day. Maintaining a healthy social life alongside work commitments is difficult enough, and by the end of the day rigorous exercise is the last thing on our minds.

‘On the other hand, it’s clear that businesses could be doing more to promote exercise in the workplace. When it comes to encouraging exercise, it’s the little changes that make a difference. From bringing fitness experts into the office for quick sessions, to installing a fresh water cooler, you can easily encourage healthier life choices for your team.

‘It will ultimately save businesses money in the long term.’

Further reading on health and exercise

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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