As gyms across the country lay on 10,000 free exercise classes today to mark National Fitness Day 2015, new figures show Brits are collectively achieving some incredible fitness feats.
Billed as “the most active day of the year”, National Fitness Day is organised by ukactive, the UK’s leading not-for-profit health body for the physical activity sector.
Thanks to a steadily growing body of research and media coverage of its benefits to health, physical activity has rocketed up the national agenda.
A new ComRes poll shows that 51 per cent of British adults say that they now think being physically active is more important for a healthy lifestyle than they thought it was just a year ago.
Britons are also more than three times as likely to report that exercising every day has the most positive impact on health, than they are to say that getting more than seven hours of sleep a night has such an impact.
Previous research by ukactive has highlighted the scale of inactivity among Britons, with 29 per cent of the UK population classed as physically inactive – a higher proportion than most other EU countries and even the USA.
But while a sizeable proportion of Brits are stuck to the sofa, an ever growing number are catching the active bug, evidenced by new data compiled by tracking firm Gymetrix with additional statistics from leading fitness and technology providers Precor.
This data - compiled and analysed for the first time by ukactive - shows that in 2014 there were 11,171,062 hours spent in the gym using treadmills, stationary bikes and resistance training .
In addition, data from parkrun, which organises free weekly 5km runs on Saturday mornings in parks up and down the country, found that its average 45,000 weekly participants clocked up over 1million hours of running time last year.
And the figures don’t even include the millions of hours spent zumba-ing, using free weights or box jumping.
As part of the festivities for National Fitness Day, 2,000 health clubs across the country are laying on a total of 10,000 classes for members and non-members – from bootcamps to spinning and zumba to swim relays.
People can search for classes happening near them at www.nationalfitnessday.com.
Sessions will be running from early in the morning until late at night – allowing the time-poor to squeeze in a class at lunchtime or before or after work.
Meanwhile, over 780 primary schools will also be laying on special physical activity events for youngsters.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson, chair of ukactive, said: ““National Fitness Day is a chance for everyone, no matter how fit they are, to try something new and get the activity bug.
HOW YOU CAN TAKE PART
Around 10,000 free 30-minute exercise sessions will be on offer for members and non-members at 2,000 gyms, health clubs and parks across the country.
A large-scale event will be taking place at Lancaster 3-1-5 in Lancaster, Lancashire.
People are being encouraged to come along, try something new and share the experience with friends on social media.
Members of the public can find events near them by searching at www.nationalfitnessday.com