Four in five Britons 'do no exercise or play no sport'

Mark Lawford
Brits are at the top of the unfitness scale

A staggering four in five (80%) adults in the UK do not rank playing sport or going to the gym/exercising as one of their favourite leisure time activities, making it one of the least active countries compared to a global average of 70%.

This was one of the stand-out results of the World Play Shortage Report, a global survey of 22 countries by leading home appliance brand Beko. The survey of more than 10,000 people across 22 countries was commissioned by the Premium Partner of FC Barcelona to identify trends in leisure time/activity as part of the Official partner of play campaign.

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Surprisingly, for a country interested in a wide-range of sports, the report also found that a massive 79% of parents admitted they haven’t taken their child/children to watch a sports match in the past 12 months.

Four in five Britons ‘do not exercise or pay no sport’

As everyday life becomes increasingly busy in today’s society, the amount of leisure time people have is diminishing and important play time is under threat. Globally, almost one in three (30%) adults have less than 10 hours of free time per week, and 36% have less than two hours per day, as the demands of modern life start to eat into free time. The global average of leisure time per person per week is less than 21 hours.

Leading home appliance brand Beko, Premium Partner of FC Barcelona, commissioned a survey of 10,100 people of all ages and demographics in 22 countries around the world to identify trends in play and leisure time.

A staggering 70% do not rank playing sport or going to the gym/exercising as one of their favourite leisure time activities and nearly a third (30%) of people admit they never exercise.

Children’s play time is also being affected by their parents’ busy lives, with 40% of parents across the world revealing they haven’t taken their child to play at a park in the past year. In an average week, children have three hours less leisure time (21 hours) these days compared to their parents’ generation (24 hours), the equivalent of two full 90-minute football matches.

In the United Kingdom, the key findings were:

  • Four in five (80%) of adults do not rank playing sport or going to the gym/exercising as one of their favourite leisure time activities (global average 70%)

  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of adults never take part in exercise during their leisure time

  • Children in the UK have more than four hours less play time (20.6 hours) per week than their parents’ generation (24.7 hours)

Zeynep Özbil, Beko Group Head of Communications, said: “The World Play Shortage Report stands as a powerful source for how modern life shapes our well-being and highlights the lack of play time.  The report shows people lead busy and often unplanned lives and this has a critical negative impact on our leisure time.

The survey found that more Britons are taking less exercise in their spare time

“At Beko, we speak up as the Official partner of play. We understand people’s everyday needs and provide meaningful time-saving solutions, so that they can simply enjoy their unpredictable, busy lives. We do hope that these findings will actually remind us all how we need ‘play’ to live our lives to the fullest.”

The Official partner of play campaign is built on FC Barcelona’s skilful, attacking football played with freedom and enjoyment both on and off the pitch, a style of play that epitomises the true spirit of football. As a brand, Beko supports people in their busy lives by giving them more freedom and time to ‘play’ every day.

Countries Included in Survey

Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay.

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