Almost half (46%) of UK workers are unable to fit exercise into their daily schedule, according to a survey from DBI Furniture Solutions.
Young professionals are the least likely to factor exercise into their routines, with 52% saying they don't have enough time for it. This was found to be a particular problem for women, with 48% citing lack of time for exercise compared with 43% of men.
Those who do work out are most likely to hit the gym, participate in a sport, or go for a run after work (26%), compared with 17% who exercise at the very start of the day. Only 6% said they use their lunch break, suggesting employees struggle to squeeze exercise into the working day.
Despite this struggle, only 5% of those polled reported employers who regularly organise sessions during the working day so that everybody has an opportunity for a workout, leading managing director at DBI Nick Pollitt to comment that businesses should be making more “little changes” to help their staff.
“It’s worrying, but perhaps unsurprising, that such a high percentage of the British working public struggle to fit exercise into their day,” he said. “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.”
The Department of Health estimates that the total cost of inactivity in England amounts to £8.2 billion a year (including both direct costs of treatment for lifestyle-related diseases and the indirect costs caused through sickness absence), and recommends that adults partake in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week.