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HEALTH & FITNESS TM The Awarding Organisation of Choice Health crisis a ‘ticking time-bomb’

Britain is in the grip of a health crisis, with the aver- age person failing to follow seven out of eight basic health guidelines, says a new report. The Nat ional Heal th

Report 2014 by Benenden Health questioned 4,000 people across the UK about their health habits, conclud- ing that “wilful neglect” of health guidelines is leading to a population that is over- weight, overtired, unfi t, poorly nourished and dehydrated – presenting a “ticking time- bomb” for the NHS. The report finds that the

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Authors said the public ignores guidelines, instead leaning on the NHS

average UK male eats 3.3 portions of his ‘5 a day’; has an ‘overweight class’ BMI of 26.2; only drinks 953ml of water a day; sleeps for 6.4 hours a night; does 73 minutes of cardio a week and 1.4 muscle strengthening workouts; smokes 3.8 cigarettes a day; and drinks 13.6 units of alcohol a week. Of these eight mea- sures, only the level of alcohol consumption falls within recommended guidelines. T e report found that despite recommen- dations to undertake muscle strengthening

activities at least twice a week, barely one in 10 people in the UK (11 per cent) actually manage to do so, while as many as 62 per cent of peo- ple in the south west don’t carry out any type of muscle strengthening exercise at all. Those behind the report said the public

is aware of what should be done to main- tain good health, but chooses to ignore guidelines in the knowledge that the NHS is on hand to “pick up the pieces.” Details:

Active commuting on the rise in Bristol: report

Bristol is bucking the inactiv- ity trend: a new report from Bristol City Council shows that 57 per cent of residents under 40 are now ditching their cars to get to work. Cycling to work has almost

doubled in 10 years and more people in Bristol now com- mute to work by bicycle, or on foot, than any other local authority in England and Wales. Since his election in 2012, Bristol’s mayor, George Ferguson – recently crowned ‘the best mayor in the world’ – has spent £11m on cycle routes, investment in public transport, aff ordable food projects and the continued spread of 20mph zones. Sustrans, which aims to get the UK active

through everyday activity, is delighted at the news. “T is is fantastic news for the health of Bristol’s people and prosperity,” says Ian Barrett, who is the south west director of Sustrans. “Research from the recent iConnect consor-

tium report showed that people who live near new routes increase the amount of time spent

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Bristol’s main shopping street became a giant water slide in May

walking and cycling by an average of 45 minutes per week, showing that when quality infrastruc- ture is built, people will happily use it.” “As Public Health England and ukactive

seek to fi nd ways to fi ght the inactivity epi- demic and inspire people to bring activity back into their everyday lives – as discussed at the recently staged regional activity forums – Bristol is living proof that investing in cycling infrastructure is a powerful tool.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014

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