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Brits Have an Unhealthier Lifestyle Now than at the Peak of Covid, Warns Expert

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The London Medical Laboratory has been analysing new data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) that reveals how Brits use their time. London Medical Laboratory says there has been a marked decline in the amount of time we are spending on exercise, sports, and well-being-related activities this year, compared to 2021, when COVID-19 was at its peak.

The new research has revealed Brits spent a mean average of just 19.1 minutes a day on exercise, sports, and keeping fit activities this March, 10 minutes less than the average of 29.6 minutes a day we spent keeping healthy in March 2021. Concerningly, while we only find time to exercise for less than 20 minutes a day, we still manage to find 140 minutes a day to watch TV and 44 minutes a day to stare at our computers and devices.

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), clinical lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: “Contrary to the general assumption that we all gained weight and let ourselves go during the pandemic, actually it may have been a golden period for our health. In 2021, UK adults spent a mean average of almost half an hour a day exercising and keeping fit, as opposed to less than 20 minutes today.

“Compared to the pandemic period, our health and well-being are also affected by other ways we now spend our days. Back in March 2021, an average of 28.8 minutes a day were spent doing DIY and working in the garden, activities that are also likely to improve our fitness and health. This March, that fell to an average of 11.5 minutes a day.

“Conversely, we are now spending far more time on activities, such as commuting, that are likely to be stressful and potentially unhealthy. Back in March 2021, we spent just 32.9 minutes a day traveling. This March, we spent an average of 71.7 minutes a day traveling. Those people who have gone back to the office now spend 433.8 minutes (7.2 hours) at work a day.

“Clearly, we all need to look again at how we spent our time during the pandemic and build the best of those routines back into our lives. Spending just half an hour a day on healthy activities can help us lose weight, reduce stress and the risk of disease, and improve our well-being and feelings of happiness. A simple, brisk walk is a great way to improve or maintain our overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. Our body also produces chemicals, such as serotonin and endorphins, that trigger a happy feeling.

“For those who are still concerned about whether their overall levels of fitness have declined in the last couple of years, revolutionary new blood tests provide a vast array of information about our health through a simple finger-prick blood test.

“For example, London Medical Laboratory’s general health profile blood test monitors seven key areas of health. It includes muscle and bone profile, liver and kidney function, the risk of diabetes (by checking levels of HbA1c), cholesterol levels, iron levels, and even the risk of gout.

“Not only is a blood test easy to book, either online or at participating pharmacies and health stores, but it can complement the role of the NHS by identifying problems before any symptoms have appeared. London Medical Laboratory’s general health profile blood test can be taken at home through the post or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores.”

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