February 18, 2013

Brits say their physical peak is at 26 and throw in the towel at 56

L2B - man and woman cyclingOur survey shows that long working hours, children, marriage and a lack of funds prompts fitness decline - but we're urging the UK to get up and get on their bikes for London to Brighton 2013.

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The survey also found that most Brits felt their optimum age for physical fitness was 26, and the age at which they aspire to stay physically active until is 56 years old.

Our upcoming London to Brighton bike ride opens for registration on Saturday 2 March and we are hoping that people across the UK will sign up and improve the physical habits of the nation.

Help beat heart disease by taking part in our London to Brighton Bike Ride this summer

We found that over a third (39%) of those surveyed cited eating a healthy diet as the reason behind them feeling at their physical peak. This was closely followed by participation in sports clubs (30%) and going to the gym (29%). Also in the top five were drinking less alcohol and playing sport at school or college.

Shockingly, over a fifth of those surveyed (21%) said the last time they were really physically active was at school, college or university and only a quarter (25%) of Brits said they had been really physically active in the past week.  One in ten (10%) said they hadn't conducted real physical exercise in over ten years

The pressures of modern life were blamed for declining fitness levels, with working much longer hours in the office coming out on top (41%), followed by having children (33%) and getting married (22%).  Moving out of your parents’ home and a sudden loss of income were also mentioned in the top five.

Iconic cycling

BHF fundraising cyclistsIt seems as if the health of the nation is not what it used to be as, when asked how far they walked and cycled in a typical week in miles as a school child, those surveyed gave an average of 16 miles. When asked to provide the same estimation for their children - the average was just six miles

Our Head of Events Nancy Prior, said: “We are leading increasingly busy lives and it can be difficult at times to prioritise physical activity with family and work commitments getting in the way. However, with over a third of Brits rating good health as the number one attribute to have, we would encourage everyone to make time for regular physical activity to help keep your heart healthy.

“Our London to Brighton Bike Ride, one of the most iconic charity cycling events in Europe, will be opening for registration on Saturday 2 March. You can join over 27,000 cyclists and ride the 54-mile route on Sunday 16th June 2013. The ride is for anyone of any fitness and ability so sign-up to register your interest today and raise funds that will help the BHF continue its lifesaving work into the fight against heart disease.”

Stewart Kellett, Director of Recreation and Partnerships at British Cycling, added: "It’s heartwarming to see that the glorious legacy of our summer of sport lives on with people saying the success of British cyclists over the summer has inspired them to get on their bikes.

“There are currently 22 million people riding a bike in the UK and from April - October 2012 the number of people cycling once a week increased by a staggering 40,000. We would urge anyone with an interest in cycling and improving their fitness levels by taking part in the BHF’s London to Brighton Bike Ride this summer.”