The survey was conducted by Saga health insurance in a bid to find out why so many older adults are becoming overweight.
A staggering 52% of people over the age of 40 say they are too heavy, compared with only 40% of those under 40. However, most are reluctant to start an exercise regime to lose weight.
The government advises we engage in moderate activity for half an hour five times a week. Just one in 10 people over the age of 50 meet the recommended target of weekly moderate exercise, with one third doing no exercise whatsoever.
37% of those asked said they did not exercise because they were physically unable to. 31% said they had no motivation to get fitter and 22% simply described themselves as ‘too lazy’.
Of those who did claim to exercise regularly, over 50% said brisk walking was their main activity, 13% said they preferred to swim and 10% chose to cycle.
However, the survey also found that older people were more likely to get the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Over a third of over-50s got their five-a-day, compared with only one fifth of under-50s.
Where they won on fruit and veg, they lost on alcohol. 14% of over-50s regularly exceeded the recommended 21 units of alcohol per week, compared with only 8% of under-50s.
Roger Ramsden, chief executive of Saga Services, said: “Whilst the over-50s tend to get it right with healthy eating, what they appear to need is something to motivate them to exercise.”
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