One in Three Adults Are Unfit

3 Minute Read

An HFE tutor with a group of smiling fitness students
An HFE tutor with a group of smiling fitness students

A new study has revealed one in three UK adults are so unfit, they are left gasping for breath after running to catch a bus or train. A similar number also confessed they are exhausted after a quick trip up the escalator or stairs at work.The research, commissioned to mark the launch of LAX St Boltoph’s new five star fitness club in London, polled 2,000 office workers on their everyday fitness levels.

It was found that even routine domestic tasks such as running the vacuum around the house for a few minutes troubled many. The top ten ways adults get out of breath, were revealed as:

1. Running for the bus
2. Going up the stairs
3. Running to catch the train
4. Carrying heavy shopping
5. Dancing
6. Walking up the office stairs
7. Sex
8. Cleaning
9. Gardening
10. Vacuuming

One in four confessed they had already been left red-faced in front of colleagues as a result of their poor shape. The same number also admitted they have received a negative comment or had someone express concern about their fitness levels in the past. 65% of respondents felt they had cause to suspect they had low energy levels, while four in ten were shocked at how out of breath they become after doing simple everyday activities such as cleaning.

“The results demonstrate a worrying level of energy in many of the workers studied, with day-to-day activities taking more of a toll than they should,” says Tony Orme, marketing manager at LAX. “When a lack of energy or shame surrounding our physical condition starts to negatively impact on our personal, social and working lives – it needs to be addressed.”

The results demonstrate a worrying level of energy in many of the workers studied, with day-to-day activities taking more of a toll than they should

How enormously our health and fitness impacts on our lives was also demonstrated by a third of respondents (31%), who admitted they have avoided social events and team-building activities for fear of embarrassment over their poor physical fitness. The average respondent could only manage five press-ups and nine sit ups comfortably. When asked to rate their physical condition, the average worker marked themselves at just 47%, with many also describing their current exercise regime as non-existent. More than half (56%) also reported that their fitness levels directly impact on their overall confidence.

More positively, the survey also provided insight on how the respondents were making changes. Over a quarter said they are now exercising regularly and one in five said they make time for a workout before heading to the office. Many believed that increasing the amount of exercise they do would improve their sharpness and performance at work, as well as upping their energy levels. A further 44% were convinced that regular exercise would also help to increase their overall happiness and may help to increase their attractiveness too.

“There is a clear correlation between regular exercise and positive working performance,” says Steve Sharp, senior general manager at LAX. “It’s something that can be easily incorporated into even the most hectic of routines and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.”


Lee Cain

Lee Cain

Writer, Tutor and Experienced Fitness Professional

Lee has over 20 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry and has performed multiple roles, including physical training instructor, strength and conditioning coach, lecturer, writer, tutor, assessor and verifier for vocational qualifications. He has a passion for all things exercise, with his key specialisms being strength and performance-based training.

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