Half of people cannot run 100 metres

August 06, 2012, 1:42 PM GMT+0

New research by YouGov for Slimming World shows nearly half of adults cannot run 100m

It’s likely that Usain Bolt will run the distance in less than 10 seconds this weekend, but a survey has found that nearly half of adults in the UK (45%) believe it would be difficult or impossible to run 100 metres without stopping.

The online survey of 2,065 people which asked about people's weight, eating habits and fitness levels, was conducted to mark the start of Slimming World’s 'Miles for Smiles' activity programme to encourage people to become more active while raising money for the NSPCC at the same time.

  • The survey found that women are almost twice as likely as men to be brought out in a cold sweat by the idea of running 100 metres, with 56% of women believing it would be difficult or impossible to run the distance compared to 31% of men.
  • When it was announced that the Olympics were to be held in London it was hoped that it would leave a legacy of a more active Britain, but the survey revealed that three out of four people (75%) in the UK never take part in competitive activity and more than half (55 %) never take part in non-competitive activity either.
  • In contrast, six out of 10 men (59%) enjoy watching sport on TV at least once-a-week, with that figure likely to have risen during the Olympic season.

“These findings show how daunting the idea of physical activity can be for the many of us who lead completely sedentary lives,” says Carolyn Pallister, Slimming World’s public health manager.

“It’s easy to fall out of the habit of being active and the longer we go without doing it the less confident we feel. For people who are worried about their weight or poor fitness – and that’s the majority of the population – the thought of taking those first steps to a more active lifestyle can feel terrifying and, with busy lives, it’s easy to make excuses and decide that now just isn’t the right time to make a change.

Pallister said she hoped that with the rise in sport spectators in London 2012 Olympic Games, there will also be a rise in physical activity, however she does conced that watching world class athletes could make people feel less capable of being active themselves.

“The real focus of any programme designed to help people become more active needs to be about helping people to build their confidence in their ability to make changes," she said. "Being encouraged to start slowly and find ways of being active that they enjoy and can build into their everyday life can help take the threat out of activity.

At Slimming World they find that by helping our members identify ways of moving more and supporting them to increase their activity levels gradually, they can be helped to grow their confidence as they build up to a more active lifestyle.

"Whether it’s taking the stairs instead of the lift, swapping sedentary video consoles for active gaming like the Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect or trading nights in front of the TV for more active pursuits like taking a brisk walk, joining a zumba class or kicking a football around in the park, we see first-hand what a difference small, enjoyable changes can make."

See the original Press Release here

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