The average person in Britain spends just 8 per cent of their time outside on a week day, meaning less than two hours a day out of doors.
Most of this time is spent walking to the shops or the car, but men are slightly better at getting out than women, at 28 minutes more per week day.
Ribble Cycles surveyed more than 1,000 adults in Britain finding the average person spent 92% of their time indoors on a weekly basis.
Brits also admit to spending 1 hour 37 minutes per day less outside during winter in comparison to summer.
When asked how people typically spend time outdoors each day, the answers were:
- Taking pets for a walk (17%)
- Walking to the shop at lunchtime (16%)
- Walking to and from the car (15%)
- Walking to work from my bus/train (14%)
- Going for a run (6%)
- Walking the kids to school (5%)
- Smoking (4%)
- Cycling to work (2%)
The top 5 activities show the lack of outdoor exercise Brits seem to be partaking in on a daily basis.
Dr Ben Morris, Lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Trinity University, said: “There is emerging evidence to suggest that exercising in natural environments can be associated with greater feelings of regeneration, decreases in psychological tension and overall reductions in perceived stress.
“This points towards the fact that we have only recently as a species decided to metaphorically lock ourselves away in the air-conditioned, homogenised surroundings of the gym. The suggested psychological benefits derived from outdoor activities may pull into question the use of purely gym based exercise programmes for meeting all of our exercise needs.”
Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP said: “While the sky may often be grey, we live in a beautiful country. Yet all too many of us spend almost all our waking hours indoors. When we are indoors, we spend most of our time sitting – 60% of men and 54% of women spend at least 5 hours of their working day sitting or standing still and 1 in 7 sit for more than 8.5 hours a day.”
“With so much evidence of the benefits of regular exercise for our health, we need to get young people into good habits, or risk a couch potato generation and an ever-rising tide of conditions like type 2 diabetes. Yet only 6% of boys and 1% of girls cycle to school, and almost half of teenagers spend 6 or more hours a day sitting still at weekends.”
“Exercise reduces the risk of being overweight, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer. Exercising outdoors has an added benefit for your mood – and most forms of outdoor exercise are free!”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.