Helth and fitness prioritised during recession

The recession has encouraged people in the UK to rethink their lives, including making health and fitness a greater priority, a poll has suggested.

A survey of more than 2,000 people by YouGov SixthSense has found that, while financial concerns are still the most pressing concern in the wake of the recession, nearly three-quarters of people want to get fitter and healthier.

Fitness was even ranked above people’s employment situations and living arrangements as a key concern, it found.

Younger people, aged 16 to 24, were especially likely to preoccupy themselves with fitness, with nearly three-quarters of men in this age range and seven in 10 women citing fitness levels as a major concern. More than half of young men also said that they enjoyed going to the gym.

Nearly half of those polled said they intended to do more exercise and get fitter over the next five years, while more than a third wanted to try and achieve their ideal weight and eat more healthily, including cooking from scratch at home rather than buying pre-prepared meals or eating out.

James McCoy, research director of YouGov SixthSense, said: “During this time of financial uncertainty, people may be looking to healthier and more sustainable ways of living. The genuine enthusiasm for exercise and cooking at home suggests that the public are willing to refocus on the more substantive things in life.”

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