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Nearly half of Scottish adults ‘struggle to exercise every day’



Nearly half of all adults in Scotland struggle to exercise every day prompting fears of a public health emergency, a new report has revealed.

Step Change, the report published by Spirit of 2012 – the social legacy funder of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, says that 46% of adults in Scotland struggle to be physically active every day.

Chief executive Ruth Hollis warned that the levels of inactivity have not “dented” in the last 25 years.

Around 15 million adults across the UK are classed as physically inactive because they undertake less than 30 minutes of moderate activity each week.

However, the research also found around a third of people walked, cycled or ran more during lockdown in 2020 and 22% of people have maintained this level of activity.

The report argues that more needs to be done in order to build on the popularity of lockdown walking.

Spirit of 2012 has put forward eight key recommendations it hopes will boost physical activity, including a move away from body images often represented in stock images of people exercising and giving people small goals to work towards.

Ms Hollis said: “For a quarter of a century in this country, we haven’t even dented levels of inactivity.

“The eight principles we’re launching today in this report are the key ingredients for facing off the looming public health emergency.

“Now is the perfect opportunity: levels of activity, such as walking and cycling surged during lockdown, but this is already on the wane.

“We’re calling on national and local governments, public health organisations, employers, and civil society to adopt these principles, and design sustainable strategies for decreasing levels of inactivity in adults before these habits are lost.”

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