Despite new health scares appearing almost daily and obesity rates on the rise, a staggering 12 million British people do no exercise.
In addition, almost 70 percent of people drink four or fewer glasses of water a day, and just half of us think we do enough exercise or get enough sleep.
In a report released by Fitness First and Bupa to coincide with the launch of the Bupa Health Check + Tracker in Fitness First health clubs across the country, over 8,000 Britons were scored on a range of aspects that impact health including diet, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress and fitness.
Overall, people are very poor at exercise and it seems we are turning into a nation of couch potatoes. More than half of those surveyed are doing less than two hours exercise a week. This is below the Government recommended level for an adult, which is a minimum of 30 minutes of at least moderate exercise five times a week. Retired people are good at exercise - just under a fifth of those surveyed spending up to five hours a week exercising.
This research is eye opening to current attitudes towards general wellbeing and it seems British people are in denial about how inactive they are. One in five people claim to do no exercise at all, but believe they are fit and healthy. Being physically active has proven health benefits as people who exercise reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes by up to 50% and the risk of dying prematurely by 20-30%.
Health Check + Tracker gives people a way of monitoring their progress and helps them understand the positive impact exercise has on their body.
This system, available in 167 Fitness First health clubs across the country, is incorporated into the gym chain’s GET RESULTS! programme. It tests 16 different physiological and physical signs and monitors them over time. As well as standard tests such as weight, body mass index and flexibility, the tracker also monitors stress and sleep patterns, thereby giving a detailed picture of your overall health and wellbeing. People also have 24-hour online access to the Health Check + Tracker to monitor their progress any time, day or night.
Following an initial health check, a detailed report and personalised information shows what shape people are really in. Through the GET RESULTS! programme with Fitness First, they are then given support and expertise to create a workout which will address their areas of concern and can monitor their progress on an ongoing basis.
Bupa and Fitness First have joined forces to offer free annual health club memberships worth £600 each to all new BUPA health insurance customers.
Existing Bupa members can take advantage of the lowest Fitness First membership rates available.
Private medical insurance: News update: July 2007