People believe exercising is the best way to support the NHS
1st October 2020
Exercise has been voted the number one way the public can help the NHS – ahead of paying taxes and cutting down on smoking and drinking.
A study of 2,123 UK adults by Savanta ComRes found people believe being physically active to improve their health will support the NHS and reduce pressure on its services. Next on the list, by a margin, is cutting smoking, followed by improving diets, paying taxes, and cutting alcohol.
In total, more than half (51 per cent) of respondents rank exercise in the top three ways to help.
The research, commissioned by industry body ukactive, also shows how people have discovered the benefits of exercise during the pandemic.
More than two thirds (69 per cent) of respondents now want to do more exercise due to the impact of COVID-19, while more than half (58 per cent) of respondents said that, during lockdown, they were able to manage their mental health and wellbeing through being active
There is, however, still work to be done to get the public more active. A quarter of respondents are classed as physically inactive (25 per cent), only doing 30 minutes or less of moderate exercise a week – including 12 per cent who admit they get no exercise at all.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, chair of ukactive, added: “Physical activity has never before played such a vital role in our lives.
“By being more active, we not only have the chance to improve our mental and physical health, but also to give ourselves a better chance against COVID-19 and reduce the burden on the NHS.
“No matter what your age, ability or background, we all have a common interest in physical activity.”