Do you ever feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the working day? You struggle to get all your daily tasks completed before it’s time to go home, let alone find time to exercise. If so, you’re definitely not alone, but it’s a reality which you should address for the benefit of your health in later life.
A new survey has found that over a third (35%) of UK office workers are simply too busy to undertake physical activities or exercise, and as a result spend only an hour or less per week engaging in physical activities. What is more worryingly is that almost one in 10 respondents said they do not exercise at all.
The research by Age UK and Bupa also found that individuals with sedentary job roles neglect mental wellbeing too, with 52% spending no time at all undertaking mental wellbeing activities like mindfulness, meditation and other stress-relieving activities.
Despite stress having a detrimental effect on the mind and body, both now and in the future, less than a third (27%) of office-based workers are taking the time to recognise the signs and tackle stress when it occurs.
Not Due to a Lack of Understanding
However, the survey of more than 2,000 UK adults did find that office workers are trying to make small changes to improve their overall health. For example, 53% said they now take the stairs instead of a lift and 33% have made more time to visit family and friends.
The survey also highlighted that most people do indeed understand the importance of physical exercise, with 65% saying that they would like to alter their current lifestyles in order to be healthier and happier in later life.
Moreover, 64% of those with already healthy lifestyles said that lowering the risk of future ill health, including dementia, loss of mobility and physical ill health, was a motivating factor for them now.
Laurie Boult, head of fundraising at Age UK, said: “Research has shown that looking after our mental wellbeing is just as important as protecting our physical health when it comes to ageing.
“While genes have an effect, 75% of the factors that lead to longer life are within our own control, like lifestyle and nutrition.”
‘Not Difficult to Make Simple Changes’
Richard Adams, chief nurse at Bupa UK, said: “It’s really important that we all take steps to think about how our everyday actions could affect our health when we are older.
“The good news is that it’s not difficult to make simple changes that can have a positive effect today and help us all live longer, healthier and happier lives in the years to come.
“As well as employees thinking about their health, we would urge employers to create an environment where their workforce can take time to lead healthy, active lifestyles, and lead by example.
“The risks of not thinking ahead are high. Dementia, diabetes are just two examples of diseases that are potential outcomes of unhealthy lifestyles.”
We urge all employers to promote a healthy lifestyle for their workforce and we can help them with wellness ideas to suit their budget. We all need to remember that it is never too early or too late to start looking after ourselves.
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