One in five Scots admit that they never do any kind of exercise

Shock new poll reveals extent of inactivity among Scots with many blaming weather and laziness.

Out and about: A fifth of Scots said they never exercise. <strong>© Flickr/ Garry Burns</strong>
Out and about: A fifth of Scots said they never exercise. © Flickr/ Garry Burns

A fifth of Scots have said they never exercise, according to a new survey.

Many have blamed laziness and bad weather for their sedentary lifestyles.

The survey, commissioned by the British Heart Foundation, has revealed the extent of inactivity in Scotland.

Some 17% of people said they haven’t done regular exercise in at least 10 years.


Of those who said they have exercised in the past year, 40% said they’ve preferred swimming while 33% opted for cycling and 30% went running.

Shockingly, over three quarters (81%) were unaware that the recommended minimum amount of physical activity needed is at least 150 minutes every week.

Nearly a quarter (24%) said nothing can motivate them to exercise.

The survey was commissioned by the heart charity to mark the launch of its 2016 event series.


The BHF said it was surprised to find that close to half (46%) of Scots haven’t run at all in the past year.

Over half (55%) of respondents thought a minimum of 20 minutes’ exercise, such as brisk walking, at least three times a week would suffice for their exercise requirement.

A report by chief medical officers in Britain has suggested people should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week, such as brisk walking or cycling.

However, the survey found just 19% of people are aware of this.

Some 39% of Scots said the weather puts them off exercising while a quarter said working long hours prevents them.

More than four in ten (43%) admitted that sheer laziness is the reason they don’t exercise.

The BHF is encouraging Scots to challenge themselves in 2016.


Through its event series it will provide people of all physical abilities the opportunity to get active.

Events in Scotland include a 100km overnight walking challenge.

The Glasgow to Edinburgh trek is set to take place on 30 and 31 July.

The charity is also holding a 5k and 10k, dubbed the Glasgow Winter Warmer, at Pollok Country Park on Valentine’s Day.

Lisa Young, Physical Activity Specialist at the BHF said she was not surprised by how few people know how much exercise they should be doing.

However, she added it was “very concerning that a fifth of Scots never exercise and over four in ten simply blame it on their own laziness”.

She said: “Physical activity is essential for your heart health and should not be ignored.

“Not only can keeping fit help reduce your risk of heart disease, it can help you control your weight, reduce blood pressure/cholesterol and improve your mental health.

“Just making small changes to your routine can have a big impact.

“Walk more, get together with friends to do an activity, find something you enjoy and set yourself a goal this year to keep you motivated.”

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