You DO have enough time to exercise! Adults have five hours free every day ‘but choose to spend most of it on their phones instead of in the gym’
- Adults have an average of five to six hours spare every single day, a poll found
- However, they spend most of this time watching TV or looking at their phones
- Guidelines urge adults to take part in 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week
You may think you’re too busy juggling the demands of life to shed some sweat at the gym – but experts have said you are wrong.
Adults have an average of five to six hours spare every single day, according to a poll of more than 32,000 Americans.
However, they spend most of this time watching TV or scrolling through social media on their phones, the same results showed.
Health guidelines urge adults to take part in 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week, which works out as half-an-hour Monday to Friday.
But figures show have repeatedly showed adults aren’t meeting the recommended targets, which is partly fueling the global obesity crisis.
Adults have an average of five to six hours spare every single day, according to a poll of more than 32,000 Americans
The poll, conducted by the US think tank RAND Corporation, was published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
Participants were all older than 15 and were asked to record their activities, as well as that of their family members, over one 24-hour period.
Study co-author Dr Deborah Cohen said: ‘There is a general perception among the public and even public health professionals that a lack of leisure time is a major reason that Americans do not get enough physical activity.
‘But we found no evidence for those beliefs.’
Free time did not include common errands such as food shopping, nor was cleaning, cooking, eating and playing with children counted.
No group of people analysed had less than 4.5 hours spare per day, and men reported having an extra half-hour compared to women.
Men spend 211 minutes of their free time looking at screens, the results showed. In contrast, women look at their phones for just less than three hours.
But when it came to exercise, men and women spend just 6.6 and 5 per cent of their free time on physical activity – the equivalent of around 15 minutes.
Dr Cohen said: ‘Increasing the public’s awareness of how they actually use their time and creating messages that encourage Americans to reduce their screen time may help people to become more physically active.
‘These findings suggest getting Americans to devote at least 20 or 30 minutes each day to physical activity is feasible.’
The NHS recommends people get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity such as running or playing sports, every week.
A major study published in the British Medical Journal in March this year estimated inactivity is killing 70,000 people in the UK every year.
Experts warn Britain runs on a ‘sitting-based economy’ in which the vast majority of working adults spend their days bound to a desk.