A study shows that 42 per cent of women in Britain do not engage in the recommended levels of exercise, while the figure in men is 32 per cent

Physical inactivity among British people puts a £10.1m dent in the UK economy each year, according to a new report, with 85 per cent of 15-year-olds failing to engage in the recommended levels of exercise.

The study, conducted jointly by the International Sport and Culture Association and the Centre for Economic and Business Research, looked at inactivity levels in six focus countries: the UK, France Germany, Poland, Italy and Spain.

The results revealed that in the UK 42 per cent of women over the age of 18 did not undertake the recommended amount of exercise, while the figure for males was 32 per cent – both the highest among the focus countries.

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According to the report, the direct cost of inactivity in Britain is €1.9bn, with indirect costs rising to €9.4bn. Added to that, the study suggests that inactivity is strongly linked to mental health disorders which cost an additional €2.9bn.

Totalled up, the figures suggest €14.2bn is the total annual economic cost of Brits failing to do enough exercise – equivalent to 8.3 per cent of the UK health spending.

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Elsewhere in Europe, of the six focus countries Poland fared the best, with 24 per cent of women and 14 per cent of men being deemed inactive, while Italy was second to the UK with figures of 38 per cent and 28 per cent for men and women respectively.

Download and read the full report here.

  • Anthony Jackson

    Id still think 32per cent is conservative. I used to live around 3-4miles from where I worked, my colleagues thought I was crazy for cycling on quiet suburban back roads….. I used to think it was weird, it used to take me longer to change than it did to ride. I now live 20miles from where I work and I try and ride in at least 3 times per week, depending on rain.

    But I agree with Wheels on the Bike, people just need to hop on and do it. If you live 5-10miles from work then why not. I always see it as free exercise….. that and walking the dog…is a great way to end a tough day.

  • Wheels on the Bike

    Interesting how this article demonstrates the attitude (which is formed as a result of the car-centric environment the UK has built) which makes cycling seem like a extra activity that one needs to specially train for while spending loads on special equipment. It’s not that hard – cycling is an everyday activity that can replace normal journeys, just hop on and go. If you don’t feel safe then make some noise until we get cycling infrastructure suitable for everyone to use.