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Lazy Brits have their smartphones to blame

3rd September 2020

Matt Sanders

We’ve all become reliant on our smartphones, and now, new research shows that our devices are also making us lazy – Brits in particular.

Researchers have revealed that smartphones have made Britain the laziest country in Europe, reports The Telegraph. A study looking at levels of sedentary behaviour among adults found a 22% rise in the UK between 2002 and 2017.

In the study, sedentary behaviour is defined as sitting down for more than four and a half hours a day.

According to the study’s authors, inactivity among 35- to 44-year-olds is particularly high. Also driving the change towards more sedentary lifestyles is the tendency for adults of all ages to use handheld devices during leisure time.

Figures from other countries in Europe show that after Britain, France saw the next highest increase in sedentary behaviour, with a 17.8% increase. Next was Germany, with a rise of 7.4%. Followed by an increase of 3.9% in Spain and just 0.2% in Italy.

Across Europe as a whole, inactivity rates increased between 2002 and 2017 by around 8%.

Inactivity is widely recognised as being damaging to health and one of the biggest drivers of conditions such as cancer and Type-2 diabetes.

The study, which was published in the BMC Public Health journal, argues that governments should do more to encourage people to eat well and get fit in their battle against unhealthy lifestyles. The authors point out that a greater focus on the dangers of spending too much time sitting down would mean an increase in fitness levels.

Professor Xián Mayo Mauriz, one of the latest study’s researchers said: “Our findings suggest that in addition to encouraging physical activity, governments should focus on reducing the amount of time people spend sitting per day.”

A study in 2016 estimated that around 4.4% of all deaths in Europe were a result of sedentary lifestyles. That’s 230,000 deaths each year that could be avoided if everyone was more active.

This most recent study found that men were more prone to sitting down for more than four and a half hours a day compared to women. In the UK, sedentary behaviour among men increased by 25.2% for men and 16.5% for women.

Last year, a study of smartphone users in the UK revealed that people spend an average of three hours and 25 minutes on their phones each day. Time spent on social media alone takes up 52 minutes.

While the study focused on the behaviour of adults, it is thought that these trends are likely to apply to children as well. Previous research has found that children should be limited to 90 minutes of screen time each day to avoid becoming obese.

At Paragon Structures we provide the facilities needed to get the nation moving. Our fabric membrane structures deliver modern, environmentally-friendly sports facilities at a fraction of the cost of conventional construction methods.

If you’d like to find out more about our low-cost construction solutions, get in touch with the team today.

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