New research suggests Public Sector employees could be out of shape when it comes to exercise, with AXA PPP healthcare’s annual ‘FIT-SE’ Index* revealing workers in this sector (which includes government and civil servants) are among the UK’s least physically active.
One in ten (13%) people working in the UK’s Public Sector admit to never doing daily exercise (up from 9% in 2018) and fewer than half (45%) manage 30 minutes of daily exercise – which includes moderate walking during their commute. Moreover, they’re most likely to feel too tired after work to exercise, with two in five giving this reason for inactivity.
For workers across all industries, when asked about their main excuses for not exercising, lack of time (33%), tiredness (29%) and work commitments (19%) were among chief reasons.
Commissioned as part of AXA PPP healthcare’s ‘Flying Start’ campaign, the ‘FIT-SE’ Index reveals the time workers across the UK spend being physically active, along with the key barriers and motivators to exercising.
2019 FIT-SE Index
Encouragingly, the percentage of workers who identify exercise as a means to help improve their mental health grew by 20 per cent (from 40% in 2018 to 48% this year), suggesting more of us are becoming aware of the role physical activity plays in enhancing wellbeing. In a similar vein, 46% link exercise with stress relief.
Tracy Garrad, AXA PPP healthcare CEO, said “It’s promising to see more people prioritising their physical and mental health by making an effort to exercise, but there are still clear – and understandable – barriers hindering many from being physically active as a part of their daily working lives.”
“Businesses can, however, play a vital role in supporting employees to live healthy, active lives. And, we hope to see even more companies take part in this year’s National Fitness Day on 25 September by allowing employees to take the first hour of the day to get their day off to an active, Flying Start.”
The top 5 reasons for not exercising:
- I don’t have time (32%)
- I’m too tired after work (29%)
- I don’t have the energy or motivation (27%)
- The weather puts me off (i.e. it’s too hot, too cold or raining) (20%)
- My job prevents me from doing so (19%)
The top 5 motivators for exercising:
- Maintaining or losing weight (50%)
- Improves my mental health (48%)
- Stress relief (46%)
- Increases my energy levels (28%)
- Helps me look good (18.8%)