Physical Activity More Effective Than Money To Improve Wellbeing

Physical activity at work. Executive performing stretching exercise on fitness ball in office

In winter, do employees seem down or have low mental health? This could be because they have lower levels of physical activity, says Decathlon.

In its new research, the company reports that those with active lifestyles have 24% higher wellbeing scores than those doing little or no exercise.

The change brought about by increased physical activity was greater than that of other lifestyle changes, such as more money, increased socialising or starting a new hobby or interest.

Decathlon’s research was conducted with 2,000 adults in the UK. It is in partnership with RED January 2022, which is a nationwide initiative to get people moving every day in January to improve their mental health.

The respondents were tracked against 14 different markers to get their mental wellbeing scores. These included: thinking clearly, feeling relaxed and having energy to spare.

November And December See Lowest Levels Of Physical Activity

The “Decathlon Activity Index” reveals that the frequency with which we are active gradually declines from the summer. It reaches its lowest levels in November and December.

In winter, the average person is 40% less active than in May. The spring month is when rates of activity are at their highest in the UK.

“It’s no wonder that so many of us feel the need to get more active in January,” Chirs Gilroy, marketing and communications director of Decathlon UK.

“As the research shows, physical inactivity has a detrimental effect on our wellbeing.

“This, combined with the reduction in activity levels across the winter months, means that by January we instinctively realise that we need to move more and boost our mood.

“We support RED January’s mission to encourage people to move for your mind because it enables people to make a positive change whatever their ability or interests.

“Whether that’s going for a 5km run or simply exercising in your front room, as our research shows, that positive change can significantly boost your mood and sense of wellbeing.”

Wales Least Active Region In UK

London was found to be the Cycling capital of the UK—23% of residents choosing it as their preferred activity

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Fitness or working out at the Gym is the most popular activity in the UK. It was the main type of exercise for 32% of British adults.

Racquet sports such as tennis, squash and badminton are the eighth most popular activity in the UK.  In the research, 10% of British adults chose this as their favourite activity.

While it has mountains for hiking and vast countryside, Wales is the least active country in the UK. The research found that 41% of residents say they do no exercise at all.

Did you find this article useful? You can also learn more about what’s good for workplace wellbeing by reading Workplace menopause support needs extending to men, Workplace wellbeing takeaways from 2021 and Use wellbeing and health support to give staff a January reboot.

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