February is Heart Month and this year we’re urging people to take at least 10 minutes a day to help improve their heart health as well as support our annual fundraiser, Wear it. Beat it.
There are currently seven million people in the UK living with cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke. However, in many cases people can reduce their risk of these conditions by improving their diet, doing more physical activity and quitting smoking.
New statistics we’re releasing today show that less than a third (30%) of adults in England eat five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day, and 33% of men and nearly half (45%) of women do not do the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week.
To better understand these trends, we carried out a survey that showed a lack of time and motivation are top of the list in terms of barriers that are preventing people being as healthy as they would like. The survey found that almost a quarter (23%) of people said their family or work commitments get in the way of them leading a healthier lifestyle, with 20% saying losing motivation is the biggest barrier currently preventing them from leading a healthier lifestyle.
Small, everyday changes
In response, we’re encouraging people to ‘start small’ by taking at least 10 minutes every day to make a small change towards a healthier lifestyle during February’s Heart Month. This is in line with government recommendations that adults should aim to be active daily, ‘in bouts of 10 minutes or more’, adding up to at least 150 minutes per week.
Catherine Kelly, our Director of Prevention, Survival and Support, said: “The public have told us loud and clear that time and motivation are fundamental barriers to a healthy lifestyle. We have to listen to their concerns and during this Heart Month we are offering people manageable and realistic guidance to help make small changes to their extremely busy routines.
“We know that changing the simplest everyday habits can make a big difference - from getting off the bus two stops early to eating more fruit and veg, and building bite-sized chunks of physical activity in to your everyday life. During Heart Month we’re urging everyone to take on the Heart month 10 minute challenge to improve their heart health as well as join our Wear it. Beat it. fundraising event on 6 February to fund life saving research.”
During Heart Month the BHF is offering an email support programme and advice to help people improve their diet, get more active or quit smoking. You can join the conversation on social media using the hashtag, #10MinChallenge
We’re also encouraging people to support our annual Wear it. Beat it. fundraising event on 6 February by wearing red and organising an event to power our life saving research.