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UK adults spend 12 hours a week binge-watching TV, but only 90 minutes exercising

By Tom Walker    24 Sep 2018

The average UK adult spends eight times as long watching on-demand television as they do exercising, according to a new report.

A study of 2,076 UK adults by ComRes reveals adults spend an average of 12 hours watching on-demand TV – such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer – each week, compared with just 90 minutes a week of moderate physical activity.

The study, commissioned by ukactive, shows that the average UK adult also spends 12 hours a week using social media platforms and another 17 hours a week using a smartphone or tablet in total.

The findings also reveal a glaring fitness gap in the UK, with 14 per cent claiming not to do any exercise at all and 13 per cent doing fewer than 30 minutes of moderate exercise a week.

It means that 27 per cent of adults are classed as physically inactive.

“Sadly, many people today live totally sedentary lives in a world dominated by the car, the desk job, the television and the computer," said Professor Sir Muir Gray CBE, chief knowledge officer for the NHS.

"It is an environmental problem but individuals can take action because we now know that even 10 minutes of brisk walking is beneficial."

Steven Ward, ukactive CEO added: "Advances in technology and entertainment have captured our imaginations but as we slip into box-set binges, so many people are losing the balance and enjoyment that physical activity brings to our lives."

The report's publication has been timed to coincide with the National Fitness Day, which takes place on 26 September. During the day, gym operators, sports clubs and physical activity providers across the UK will host a huge range of free taster sessions which are open to everyone – offering an opportunity for those who are usually less active to try something new.

For full data tables on the ComRes research, click here to download the data in PDF form.

The report's findings suggest that 27 per cent of adults are classed as physically inactive
ukactive  ComRes 
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