UK adults spend 12 hours per week watching on-demand TV – survey

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UK adults spend eight times longer watching on-demand TV than exercising, research suggests.

The average person spends 12 hours streaming programmes on platforms such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime every week, a survey of more than 2,000 people by not-for-profit fitness group ukactive found.

This compares to just 90 minutes of moderate physical activity.

Adults spend an average of 17 hours a week on their smartphone or tablet, the poll reveals, roughly 11 times longer than they do exercising.

Around a quarter (27%) do more than two-and-a-half hours of moderate physical activity per week, as recommended by the Government’s chief medical officer.

However, 14% said they do not exercise at all and 13% do less than 30 minutes.

Professor Sir Muir Gray, chief knowledge officer for the NHS, said: “Physical inactivity is a silent killer and, sadly, many people today live totally sedentary lives in a world dominated by the car, the desk job, the television and the computer.

“It is an environmental problem but individuals can take action because we now know that even 10 minutes of brisk walking is beneficial.

“Physical activity is the miracle cure for many preventable diseases, and even for people who already have one or more diseases it can reduce the risk of frailty and dementia – the most feared disease of all.

“Exercise can help you at any stage of life, no matter what your age, experience or medical condition – the important thing is to take the first step and then another, but briskly.”

Fitness group ukactive is behind National Fitness Day, which will take place on Wednesday and aims to encourage people to engage in exercise.

Steven Ward, chief executive of ukactive, said: “Advances in technology and entertainment have captured our imaginations but as we slip into box-set binges, so many people are losing the balance and enjoyment that physical activity brings to our lives.

“National Fitness Day celebrates the fun of physical activity, putting smiles on millions of faces and inspiring everyone to be more active every day of the year.

“The trick to getting more exercise is finding what motivates you to be active – it could be about fun, fitness or friends, just remember to get up and get moving.”

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