To mark the launch of our new GeoVation Challenge ‘How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain’, we recently polled 2,000 people to find out about the excuses we make for being inactive.
The research showed six in ten people use the excuse of being too tired while others also use the cold or wet weather, a lack of cash and even needing an early night to get out of doing exercise. Instead of heading out for a walk or jog, more than a fifth claim ‘they’ll go tomorrow’, while 22 per cent say they ‘haven’t got time’. Illness, injury and even having no-one to go with are also popular reasons for avoiding physical activity. It also emerged that the average Brit makes four excuses a week just to get out of exercising or being active, with Monday the most likely day of the week to try and dodge activity. And 44 per cent admit they are becoming more likely to try and get out of being active as they get older.
Physical activity doesn’t have to mean going for an intense run or joining a team sport, it could be as simple as some gardening or walking to the shops instead of driving, but being active is paramount and this doesn’t necessarily have to cost money.
A Swedish study of people over the age of 60 published recently in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that pottering around the garden or fixing up the house (non-exercise physical activity) was linked to a longer life. The results of the 12-year study showed a generally active daily life was, regardless of exercising regularly or not, associated with cardiovascular health and longevity in older adults. This is particularly important as older adults often find it difficult to achieve recommended exercise intensity levels.
We can also encourage people to take part in activity by making it fun to do. I like this video created by The Fun Theory to encourage people to use the stairs rather than the escalator by making it fun to do so?
Or what about 30 squats in exchange for a free subway ticket?
The challenge is open for entries now until 8 January 2014.