UK adults spend five times longer per week watching TV & gaming than they do exercising, says poll.

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25 September 2014

UK adults spend five times longer in front of a TV, tablet, PC or mobile screen than they do exercising in a normal week*, say the results of a poll released by leading not-for-profit health body, ukactive, on the eve of National Fitness Day, the country's largest celebration of physical activity. From the poll of 2000+ UK adults* half (49%) say they would do more exercise if they could find opportunities that were free. This figure rises to 54% among women, and almost two thirds (65%) among young adults aged between18 and24.

Convenience is also a significant consideration, with almost two in five (38%) UK adults saying they would exercise more if the location suited them. This figure rises to 41% among women, compared to 35% men, whilst half (49%) of young adults aged between 18-24 are driven by ease of location.

Almost two thirds (64%) of UK adults say they spend more than a whole working day (10+ hours) per week watching television or playing video games on any device while 59% spend 10+ hours a week browsing the internet. Comparatively, just 11% of the UK public spend the equivalent time per week doing exercise such as walking, jogging, gym/studio work or playing team sports.

Technology also plays a role with over one third (35%) of UK adults and more than half (52%)of those aged between 18-34 saying that being able to track their progress via devices like mobile apps and pedometers would encourage them to exercise.

David Stalker, CEO of ukactive and Director of National Fitness Day said, "Lifestyle is too often the commonly accepted excuse for the UK public not being more active. While that might be true, these results are important for gyms, leisure centres and other fitness providers because they clearly show that people are actually willing to do more, if the conditions are right. While activity providers ultimately need to operate sustainable models, National Fitness Day is the one day in the year where everyone has banded together to make physical activity open to anyone through free sessions, on their doorstep. It's that little push out of the starting blocks for anyone who wants to try something new, without having to shell out a penny."

On Friday, the UK public will flock to more than 1500 gyms, health clubs, leisure centres, parks and other venues around the country to participate in 7,500 free "Power Half Hour" sessions to mark National Fitness Day. Run by ukactive, National Fitness Day sees the health and active lifestyle community unite to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity by inspiring the nation to move.

Better Gyms, British Military Fitness, Club Company, Energie, Everyone Active, Fitness First, Lifestyle Fitness, Gym Group, Places for People, Pure Gym and Spirit Health Clubs are just some of the major fitness providers inviting the public to try a variety of free sessions from indoor cycling, Ski Fit, boxercise and swimming to yoga, boot camp and pilates. Venues are searchable through the digital activity finder at


'National Fitness Day LIVE in association with Les Mills' is a series of mass participation and showcase exercise events engaging hundreds of people in London (Covent Garden), Birmingham (Victoria Square) and Bristol (Centre Promenade), from 12.30pm on Friday 26th September. 'National Fitness Day LIVE' events comprising Les Mills BODYCOMBATTM and SH'BAMTM sessions led by A-list instructors from the global group fitness brand. Taking the cities by storm, the events will celebrate the fun that physical activity delivers and will look to inspire onlookers into an active lifestyle.

National Fitness Day was founded by the Energie Group in 2010. Individual clubs will be running fundraising drives in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, official charity beneficiary of National Fitness Day.

Notes to editor

ComRes interviewed 2,095 UK adults ages 18+ online between 19th and 21st September 2014. The poll was commissioned by leading not-for-profit health body, ukactive.

*64% of UK adults spend more than 10 hours a week watching television/playing video games. 59% of UK adults spend more than 10 hours a week browsing the internet. Only 11% of UK adults spend more than 10 hours a week doing exercise such as walking, jogging, gym/studio work or playing team sports.

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For all media enquiries please contact Syreeta Clarke at or call 020 7420 8584 / 07734 216 716

Get updates from National Fitness Day on Twitter (@FitnessDayUK), tweet us using the hashtag #fitnessday and connect with us on Facebook (National Fitness Day)



About ukactive

ukactive is the UK's leading  not-for-profit health body for  the physical activity sector, with over 3,500 members from activity providers to major consumer brands, training facilities and equipment manufacturers. Members come from across the private, public and third sector and are united by ukactive's longstanding and uncompromising commitment to getting more people, more active, more often.


ukactive facilitates big impact partnerships, conceives and drives breakthrough campaigns, conducts critical research and galvanises key stakeholders to develop and deliver key projects that support and champion the physical activity agenda. The organisation's efforts are centred around supporting a national ambition to "turn the tide of physical inactivity".


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