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Are workplaces holding Brits back from their fitness goals?

Brits spend about 9.5 hours a day sedimentary. Photo: Tim Gouw/Unsplash

Brits are unable to achieve their fitness goals because of work, according to new research.

In survey of 2,850 people by Perkbox Medical, 45% of Brits said they can’t hit their target of walking 10,000 steps a day because they are “not able to walk a lot at work.”

Another 40% said they “don’t have enough time,” highlighting the issue of work-life balance.

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With three in five (58%) Brits trying to reach the target of 10,000 steps a day, and 71% — whether attempting to hit this target or not — not reaching this amount of activity, the survey reveals that many Brits are living a highly sedentary lifestyle.

Working 9-5 often means there’s a lot of time spent sitting, and not a lot of time spent standing or walking. In fact, research suggests UK adults spends an average of 9.5 hours a day sedentary.

This can contribute to a host of serious medical issues, including depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, certain types of cancer, risk of stroke, and coronary heart disease.

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The survey also revealed a quarter (73%) attempt to reach 10,000 steps a day to maintain mental health and reduce stress, while 64% wish to improve fitness.

With 45% feeling they aren’t able to reach these goals because they can’t walk a lot at work, workplaces may not be placing employees health as a priority.

Workplace stress is a growing issue, but regular exercise can have a positive impact on mental health. Research shows it relieves stress, improves memory, improves sleep, and boosts overall mood — all of which should be of importance within the workplace.

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The NHS recommends employees take regular short walks at work, breaking up long periods of sitting with shorter bouts of activity for just one to two minutes.