More than half of over-50s admit they are overweight yet a third do no exercise at all, study finds
One in five adults said their weight is their biggest physical concern



08:56 GMT, 23 July 2012


The most popular form of exercise was walking but one in seven said they enjoyed swimming

Just over half of over 50s admit they are overweight yet one in three does not exercise at all, according to a new study.

Researchers found 52 per cent of older adults were packing extra pounds while one in 10 said they believed they were obese.

The survey found that while 37 per cent said they were physically unable to exercise, a third said they chose not to because they had 'no motivation'.

Meanwhile a fifth said they were too lazy and one in 10 said they simply didn't have the time.

The government recommends all adults should aim to do at least 2hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week such as fast walking. Alternatively they could opt to do an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity such as running or playing tennis. They also recommend two sessions of muscle strengthening.

However, those who do exercise say they only managed less than 30 minutes once or twice a week.

The most popular form of exercise was walking, with half having enjoyed a stroll in the past month. This was followed by swimming, with 13 per cent taking a dip while one in 10 go for a regular bike ride.

Of those that exercise three quarters of
over 50s do so to improve their health and fitness, 45 per cent exercise to
control or lose weight and 28 per cent of over 65s exercise for fun.

Obesity can also be tackled by diet, and here over 50s are healthier than younger adults.

A third of over 50s eat the
recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, compared to just a fifth of younger adults. They also drink safe levels of alcohol with the average man consuming 11.7units and woman enjoying 4.7units. The recommended
safe limit for alcohol consumption is no more than 21 units a week for
men and 14 for women.

However, one in seven over 50s drink more than the recommended limit while one in five smoke cigarettes.

Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive, Saga Services commented: 'Clearly there
is still more to be done to improve healthy lifestyles across the UK,
whilst the over 50s tend to get it right with healthy eating, what they
appear to need is something to motivate them to exercise.'