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Quarter of UK professionals don’t exercise at all

Lee Biggins

The benefits of regular exercise are indisputable, yet a third (31.6%) of UK professionals admit that they only exercise once or twice a week. What’s more, a worrying one in four (24%) confessed that they don’t exercise at all! That’s according to the latest study from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job site. Contributor Lee Biggins, founder, Managing Director – CV-Library.

The survey of 1,200 workers found that 59.4% of professionals do try to exercise during the working week, with 26.3% preferring to do so before work. Of this, the majority (91.3%) agree this makes them feel more productive. For the other 73.7% who leave exercise until after work, 88.2% say that this helps them to unwind. Other key findings include: The majority (81.5%) agree that regular exercise helps professionals to stay focused at work.

Yet despite their good intentions, 39.2% admit they do struggle to fit in exercise before they start work. What’s more, 66.7% admit they sometimes have to skip their workout, because they’ve had to stay late at the office. It’s therefore unsurprising that 66.6% of professionals wish they could exercise more throughout the working week.

 Lee Biggins, founder and managing director or CV-Library, comments: “We can be told about the benefits of regular exercise until we’re blue in the face, but it’s clear that fitting this in around work is a daily struggle for many. We spend a large proportion of our day working, so it’s no surprise that professionals find it hard to motivate themselves to exercise as well, whether that’s before or after work. But the truth is, exercise is extremely important to both physical and mental health and it’s important to encourage staff to be active.”

What’s more, the majority of UK professionals (79%) believe that businesses need to do more to help facilitate exercise during the working week. When asked how they could do this, 49.9% suggested that they offer free or discounted gym memberships as a workplace perk. After that, 22.2% said they should allow more flexible working to fit around individual’s exercise regime.

 Biggins concludes: “It’s clear that professionals are looking to their employers for support when it comes to making their work and lifestyle fit around one another. Though it might not always be possible to offer flexible hours or free gym memberships, it’s important you are doing all you can to support your workforce and take their wellbeing into consideration.”

 With many professionals wishing they could do more exercise, CV-Library offers its top tips for encouraging staff to find time for a regular workout: 

 Offer flexi-time: Allow staff to start or finish work earlier. This way they’re still doing their contracted hours, but they can fit in a workout either before or after work depending on their preference.

Encourage staff to make the most of their lunch break: Encourage staff to get away from their desks and take their mind of work by going for a walk on their lunch break. It doesn’t have to be a long one, just a stroll around the block will work wonders!

Offer perks: Consider offering workplace perks such as free or discounted gym membership. Or if you’re organisation is big enough, perhaps even consider an on-site gym.

Consider schemes: Consider incentivised schemes such as walk or cycle to work schemes. These can be a great way to get employees moving.

Run group exercise: You could also organise group exercise classes, whether at the gym or perhaps even a running club. This way staff get to socialise with their colleagues outside of work, and keep fit – bonus!

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