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Mandy Kloppers

Brits have an unhealthier lifestyle now than at the peak of Covid, warns expert

Brit's health

New figures show Brits spent just 19.1 minutes a day on exercise, sports and wellbeing activities in March, compared to 29.6 minutes in March 2021 at the height of the pandemic. We also spend far more time watching TV every day than looking after our health.

 

The London Medical Laboratory has been analysing new data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) that reveals how Brits use their time. London Medical Laboratory says there has been a marked decline in the amount of time we are spending on exercise, sports and wellbeing-related activities this year, compared to 2021, when Covid-19 was at its peak.

The new research has revealed Brits spent a mean average of just 19.1 minutes a day on exercise, sports and keep fit activities this March, ten minutes less than the average 29.6 minutes a day we spent keeping healthy in March 2021. Concerningly, while we only find time to exercise for less than 20 minutes a day, we still manage to find 140 minutes a day to watch TV and 44 minutes a day to stare at our computers and devices.

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: ‘Contrary to the general assumption that we all gained weight and let ourselves go during the pandemic, actually it may have been a golden period for our health. UK adults spent a mean average of almost half an hour a day exercising and keeping fit in 2021 as opposed to less than 20 minutes today.

‘Compared to the pandemic period, our health and wellbeing is also affected by other ways we now spend our days. Back in March 2021, an average of 28.8 minutes a day was spent doing DIY and working in the garden, activities that are also likely to improve our fitness and health. This March, that fell to an average of 11.5 minutes a day.

‘Conversely, we are now spending far more time on activities, such as commuting, that are likely to be stressful and potentially unhealthy. Back in March 2021, we spent just 32.9 minutes a day travelling. This March, we spent an average of 71.7 minutes a day travelling. Those people who have gone back to the office now spend 433.8 minutes (7.2 hours) at work a day.

‘Clearly, we all need to look again at how we spent our time during the pandemic and build the best of those routines back into our lives. Spending just half an hour a day on healthy activities can help lose weight, reduce stress and the risk of disease and improve our wellbeing and feeling of happiness.  A simple brisk walk is a great way to improve or maintain our overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat and boost muscle power and endurance. Our body also produces chemicals, such as serotonin and endorphins, that trigger a happy feeling.

‘For those who are still concerned about whether their overall levels of fitness have declined in the last couple of years, revolutionary new blood tests provide a vast array of information about our health through a simple finger-prick blood test.

‘For example, London Medical Laboratory’s General Health Profile blood test monitors seven key areas of health. It includes muscle and bone profile, liver & kidney function, risk of diabetes (by checking levels of HbA1c), cholesterol levels, iron levels and even the risk of gout.

‘Not only is a blood test easy to book, either online or at participating pharmacies and health stores, but it can complement the role of the NHS by identifying problems before any symptoms have appeared. London Medical Laboratory’s General Health Profile blood test can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores. For full details, see: https://www.londonmedicallaboratory.com/product/general-health

 

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