More Brits exercise because of mental health benefit rather than to get in shape, survey reveals
Exercise may now be more focused on mental health benefits than fitness.
A survey of more than 2,200 people in the UK asked what their main motivation was for staying physically active.
More than half – 54 per cent – said it was to improve their mental health, with exercise known to release ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins.
In comparison, only 49 percent of those surveyed said their primary motivation was wanting to get in shape.
The survey, commissioned by fitness industry not-for-profit organization ukactive, found that three quarters of people do not know the recommended level of exercise they should be doing.
Physical activity guidelines from the UK’s Chief Medical Officers state that adults should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, every week.
More than half of Britons surveyed – 54 per cent – said they exercised to improve their mental health, with physical activity known to release ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins.
But 75 percent of those surveyed believe the recommended amount of moderate exercise is much lower.
Nearly 40 percent think 90 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity is enough, according to the survey released today (WED) on National Fitness Day.
On a more positive note, the poll conducted by Savanta found that people are aware of the benefits of exercise, with 86% agreeing that staying physically active can help prevent various illnesses and injuries.
As the NHS faces a record waiting list of 7.7 million people, almost a quarter of those surveyed said they were currently waiting for treatment from the NHS, with seven per cent currently members of the NHS. ‘a gym.
National Fitness Day sees free activities taking place in gyms, leisure centres, sports clubs, schools and workplaces across the UK, as well as online. Huw Edwards, chief executive of ukactive, said: “More and more people are recognizing the incredible mental benefits of being active in their daily lives, not just the physical rewards.
“These findings show the immense opportunity to alleviate our country’s mental and physical health crisis if we can raise awareness of the importance of physical activity alongside better nutrition and ensure everyone has the chance to be active .”
Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Sport and physical activity are hugely beneficial for our mental and physical health, which is why we are aiming to get 3.5 million more people active by 2030.
“We are committed to increasing participation, and that starts with 150 minutes of exercise per week for adults and 60 minutes per day for youth.”