According to a new YouGov poll commissioned by World Cancer Research Fund, lacking motivation (38%) and feeling too tired (35%) are the top reasons preventing UK adults from changing their diet and being more physically active.
To counter this and support people to change their diet and become more active, the charity has launched an 8-week online healthy living plan, Activ8.
When asked what was preventing them from eating more healthily and being more physically active, nearly half of younger people (25-34-year-olds) (48%) answered ‘feeling too tired’, compared to less than a quarter of 55-year-olds and over (23%) saying this was the reason that stopped them getting healthier.
‘Feeling too tired’ also saw a significant difference among the different sexes, with 40% of women citing this as a reason not to make healthy changes to their diet and activity levels, compared to 29% of men.
A lack of confidence ranked highest among 18-24-year-olds (26%) as a barrier to making healthy changes, compared to less than one in 10 for the over 55s (9%).
Activ8 will run all year round, and people can join anytime. It aims to support people to take on a different challenge each week. From making healthier food and drink choices to being more active in different ways, the programme is designed to be as easy and inspiring as possible while still fitting into people’s busy schedules. Activ8 helps people to adopt healthy habits to help lower their risk of cancer.
World Cancer Research Fund provides the most comprehensive scientific evidence on how diet, weight and physical activity affect our cancer risk. It has strong evidence that having a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains such as brown rice and wholemeal bread, and pulses like beans and lentils can reduce the risk of several different cancers.
Its evidence also shows that being physically active – brisk walking, running, dancing, gardening or even doing household chores, can help reduce the risk of certain cancers. Being physically active can also help people maintain a healthy weight, which, after not smoking, is the most important way to lower their risk of at least 12 different types of cancer.
Matt Lambert, health information and promotion manager at World Cancer Research Fund, said: “Living more healthily, 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, yet 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.”