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Couch potatoes and living room aerobics – Britain’s workout habits revealed

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Three in ten Britons admit they rarely or never do sport and exercise, with many citing lack of motivation and expensive facilities as their main source of dissuasion, according to new research from Mintel.

Despite a raft of national and local initiatives, as well as the feelgood factor from the nation’s recent Olympic successes, large sections of the public remain reluctant to get off the couch.

A quarter (24 per cent) of Brits reveal they struggle to motivate themselves to exercise on their own, while an equal number say cost is the number one reason for not using a public leisure centre or swimming pool.

Continuing this theme, exercising at home is proving a big draw. Nearly a quarter of those who do exercise use weights, workout videos and computer games to carry out domestic workouts.

“A number of factors work to drive home exercise, including self-consciousness, cost and convenience,” said senior leisure analyst at Mintel Michael Oliver. "The leisure industry can engage with apathetic consumers in a number of ways; the most obvious way is trial, or simply bringing exercise machines to places where people go in large numbers, such as a shopping centre or high street. Alternatively, they could consider utilising mobile facilities and taking them into the heart of neighbourhoods.”

The research finds that men are more active than women, with just over a quarter (27 per cent) admitting to little or no exercise compared to 34 per cent of their female counterparts.

Following on ukactive’s recent report Turning the tide of inactivity, there is again a clear disparity between the north and the south of the country. People in the Yorkshire and Humberside region are shown to be the biggest non-fitness culprits as 34 per cent admit to little or no exercise, while London boasts the lowest level of inactivity – just 21 per cent.

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Three in ten Britons admit they rarely or never do sport and exercise, with many citing lack of motivation and expensive facilities as their main source of dissuasion, according to new research from Mintel.
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