More than 12 million Brits are at risk from heart disease because they do no exercise at all, a new survey claims.
Despite government initiatives designed to get lazy Brits exercising, nearly a third (29%) are failing to do so, according to the study by So Good Essentials. The research also found that, despite the fact heart disease is the biggest single killer in the UK, a whopping 63% of people said the disease that worried them the most is cancer.
The survey of 2,000 people also revealed that most people had a staggering lack of knowledge about the possible symptoms of heart disease. Seven per cent of those questioned wrongly thought "bleeding from the chest" was a symptom, while 2% chose "hallucinations" and another 2% opted for "nose pains". And a staggering 15% wrongly said "jaw pains" were possible symptoms, while a confused 2% said "hair loss", in the study carried out by the soya milk company.
The survey also highlight that people are just as confused when it comes to eating for a healthy heart. More than half those questioned (56%) didn't know what omega-3 is. More than a quarter of all those questioned did not include any type of fish in their diet while nearly three out of 10 did not include any fruit and veg in their daily diet.
Daniel Derrick, spokeperson for So Good, said: "The Government healthcare initiatives have invested huge sums of money in trying to increase people's understanding of the importance of exercise and diet when it comes to avoiding heart disease but the message is still falling wide of the mark.
"Not only does a huge proportion not understand why it is important to exercise the most important muscle in our body – the heart – they are also are very confused when it comes to what to eat to help prevent this disease.
"If you look at countries, such as Australia, Canada and Japan, they are way ahead of the UK in understanding the importance of including more omega-3 in their diet and Britain is heading for a healthcare crisis if this message is not taken on board soon."
The research also shows that health is still not a key priority of more than a third of all UK adults, who stated that enjoying themselves, eating what they wanted, making money and success were still more important to them than staying healthy.
Heart disease still kills more people in England and Wales than any other condition, official figures show. Office for National Statistics data showed one in five men and around one in six women died from heart disease, including heart attacks, in 2005.