Lack of time or motivation putting Britons off getting healthy – poll

A lack of time and motivation are putting people off getting fit, a poll suggests.

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) said these were some of the main barriers preventing people from making healthy changes to their diet and being more physically active.

Other barriers include people not knowing where to start, a lack of confidence and feeling too tired.

The cost of gym membership and food prices also appeared to put people off making healthier choices, the poll suggests.

Almost a quarter (24%) said that nothing prevents them from eating healthily and being physically active.

More than 2,000 UK adults were asked: “Which, if any, of the following prevent you from making healthy changes to your diet and being more physically active?”

The poll, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the charity, found:

– 38% said a lack of motivation prevented them from eating healthily and being more active.
– 35% said they feel “too tired”.
– 26% said they did not have time.
– 25% cited their work/life balance.
– 25% cited the cost of exercising, such as a gym membership or equipment fees, as a barrier to being more physically active, while 30% said food costs were preventing them from eating more healthily.
– 16% said that they lacked confidence while 12% claimed they did not know where to start.

The figures show disparities among age groups, with nearly half of younger adults (aged 25 to 34) citing “feeling too tired” as a barrier compared with 23% of 55-year-olds.

Some 29% of men said feeling too tired was preventing them from making healthier choices compared with 40% of women.

The WCRF has launched a free healthy living plan called Activ8 where participants receive regular emails over eight weeks to help make healthy eating and getting more active a part of their daily routine.

Matt Lambert, health information and promotion manager at the WCRF, said: “Living in a healthier way, whether that’s cooking from scratch more often or getting more active, can be easier said than done, especially when tiredness and motivation play such an important role.

“It can also be challenging knowing where to start, let alone motivating ourselves to make changes. That’s why, with the help of Activ8, we want to support and empower people on their journey towards being healthier.”