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Brits lag behind Finnish, Danish and Dutch when it comes to physical activity

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) urges the public to mirror it's EU counterparts and get more exercise as it's revealed 50% of UK adults never do any vigorous physical activity.

Brits are three times more likely to do no moderate physical activity than people living in the Netherlands and almost twice as likely as those in Finland and Demark, the BHF's new report in to physical activity revealed.

The figures - based on a comparison of 28 European Union (EU) countries - show that half of UK adults (50%) never do any vigorous physical activity. Overall the UK is ranked in 16th position, with 44% of UK adults doing no moderate physical activity compared with just 14% in the Netherlands.

The charity claims this physical inactivity is contributing to many more people suffering from coronary heart disease which is costing the UK an estimated £542 million each year. The total cost of physical inactivity is now estimated to exceed £900 million a year, previous research from the NHF and Sport England suggests - more than half of which is the healthcare costs of coronary heart disease. 

Catherine Kelly, director of prevention, survival and support at the BHF, said:“Today's figures are a worrying indication of the overall picture of our nation's heart health. Alongside funding research in to improving outcomes for heart patients, we need to create environments that make it easier for people to better understand and cut their risk of heart disease.

“BHF research has shown that even making small, more active changes to your daily routine can improve your heart health. With the warmer nights and lighter evenings, the summer is the perfect opportunity for people to start to make these changes,” she said.

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