Research by national charity Heart Research UK has revealed that seven in ten people in Scotland are not doing as much physical activity as the NHS recommends.
The YouGov study, produced for the charity’s Heart of Scotland Appeal, asked 1,000 Scots how many minutes of physical activity (meaning activity requiring physical effort that increases your heart rate such as fast paced walking, running, playing sports etc) they did in an average week, with 70% reporting that they did less than the 150 minutes recommended by the NHS.
Overall, 11% of respondents reported doing no physical activity at all in an average week.
The figures also showed that people aged 25-34 were the least active, with 80% failing to meet the NHS targets for physical activity.
Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart Research UK said:
“Scientific evidence demonstrates that people who are physically active have a reduced risk of heart disease, so it’s concerning to see such low levels of physical activity in Scotland. Although longer periods of more intense physical activity provide great benefits for heart health, increasing your level of physical activity, even by small amounts, can also have a positive impact.
“To improve your heart health, look for small opportunities throughout the day to increase your physical activity levels. For example, you could avoid making short journeys by car or public transport and use the opportunity to take a brisk walk or cycle instead, or find out about the activities available in your local leisure centre or park.
“It is advisable to avoid spending long periods of time without moving. Finding realistic and enjoyable ways to keep moving can help reduce your waistline as well as improving your heart health.”
Lack of exercise, along with poor diet, high cholesterol and smoking are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which kills 41 people in Scotland every single day.
The Heart of Scotland Appeal
The Heart of Scotland Appeal is a campaign from national charity Heart Research UK to draw attention to the severity of cardiovascular disease in Scotland. Current statistics show that the death rate for coronary heart disease is almost 50% higher in Scotland than in the South East of England.
The money raised will all be spent in Scotland, funding pioneering research in to the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease at Scottish hospitals and universities.
The Heart of Scotland Appeal features a striking t-shirt and four coloured badges designed by acclaimed Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane, each with their own unique message: Live, Life, Brave, Care. These can be purchased at heartofscotland.org.uk.
The appeal has been publicly supported by a host of Scottish stars, including Brian Cox CBE, David Moyes, KT Tunstall, Rory Bremner, Amy Macdonald, Val McDermid, Jane McCarry and Iain Glen.
To donate to the Heart of Scotland Appeal or to enquire about badges and t-shirts, please visit heartofscotland.org.uk or call 0113 234 7474.