This is some crappy news.
New data from UKActive, an organization that urges people to become “more active more often,” found that British citizens spend more time on the toilet than they do exercising.
The average British adult sits on the loo for more than three hours every week, according to the survey released Sunday. That’s double the time people spend on sweating. Survey participants said they average about one and a half hours a week of moderate physical activity, like fast walking or riding a bike.
The dismal numbers don’t stop there: The survey found that 64 percent of U.K. adults spend at least six hours a day sitting down generally. The culprit? The office, according to 20 percent of respondents. They said work often gets in the way of regular exercise. Other barriers included family and personal commitments.
Researchers surveyed more than 2,000 adult men and women in the U.K. ahead of their National Fitness Day on Sept. 27.
The results are also disheartening because they suggest that many people aren’t aware of how much exercise they should be getting. Only 1 in 10 said they knew the recommended physical activity guidelines from the U.K.’s National Health Service, which urge 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week mixed with strength training.
Of course, this survey looked at the British population only. Maybe the U.S. data would be better ― but maybe not. (The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends approximately the same amount of exercise per week.) Additionally, the survey relies on self-reporting, meaning that the researchers didn’t personally observe these habits.
But there’s a clear takeaway here for all of us: Sitting too much happens globally, and that can have a dangerous effect on a person’s wellbeing. Research shows that regular exercise can improve mental and physical health by reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, depression and certain cancers, just to name a few.
We’re not suggesting anyone abdicate the porcelain throne ― after all, duty calls. But maybe it wouldn’t hurt to move a little more outside the bathroom?
Here are a few ways to sneak in some exercise during your day.