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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 May, 2004, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Do we need to take more exercise?

People of all ages should be encouraged to take more exercise according to a report by England's chief medical officer.

Sir Liam Donaldson says that exercise is a key factor in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Adults should take 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week, children and young people 60 minutes.

Possible activities include walking to work or mowing the lawn.

On Wednesday, the supermarket company Tesco said that it would introduce a prototype 'Trim Trolley' to one of its London stores next week.

Should exercise form part of our everyday life? Tell us what you think.

This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of the opinion we have received:

It seems our mouse clicking, remote control clicking, steering wheel turning, and our gas and brake pedal pushing muscles get far more than sufficient exercise already. So do our fork lifting and potato chip chewing muscles.
Mark, USA

Losing weight is all about four simple words - exercise more, eat less.
Rostam Chami, Perth, Australia

Exercise will induce endorphins and encephalins
Warren Feist, Bedford, PA, USA
Exercise will induce endorphins and encephalins, the body's opiate-like pain fighting system, which also stimulates receptors on T-cells which activate your immune system, now you tell me if exercise is good for you!
Warren Feist, Bedford, PA, USA

It is all very well the Govt. telling us to exercise more, but they are the ones encouraging the sale of school fields for development. This is all very nice for the moneyed friends of the Govt. but is very damaging for the young - they do not get the simple facilities for running and enjoying themselves at a very important stage in their lives. Coupled with the fact that the Govt. is unwilling to impose a ban on smoking in public places, when all expert advice says that this would greatly improve the health of the nation, the call for more exercise is yet more hypocrisy.
Nick, London, England

I exercise so I can party. Really. As a chef, I eat so much rich food: cream, butter, carbohydrates, steak, etc. Then there's the beer. Forget about the stereotypes concerning American beer, I'll take a craft-brewed Yankee ale or even a few rounds of Bourbon over a Bass or Harp and German beer is overrated. I digress. Hell yeah I work out. Hiking above 2500 meters, biking to work if it isn't freezing, skiing. If I did not, I'd be over 100 kilos on a less than TWO meter frame. Yes, Some of us do know the metric system.
Steve , Bend, Oregon, USA

I suggest banning junk food all together
Anon, USA
If certain parents cared about their fat kids they wouldn't be fat. I suggest banning junk food all together. Oh yeah since I live in the US everything's spread apart so who wants to walk 50 miles into the next city?
Anon, USA

I spend all my time typing comments on internet bulletin boards. Why exercise?

Not a lot of comments from over here, no. We all know it's true, exercise is important. A study found the Amish walk over 52,000 steps a day and are way more healthy than anyone else here..... Get off the duff!
anonymous, USA

The solution for children is simple. Don't put them in front of a computer or tv, let them play outside. This way they will get as much exercise as needed. For adults it can be hard to pull yourself out of a sofa after a hard days work, but my experience tells me that a little exercise is worth that effort. You feel tons better after some jogging or swimming.
Koen, Antwerp, Belgium

Let's reclaim the countryside from the fascist landowners
Sophie Stevens, London UK
The best way to get adults and children to exercise regularly is to build more houses with gardens. There is easily enough money and space, even on this small and overcrowded island, to build every family a decent sized bungalow with a garden. Let all the people of our nation breath, not just a privileged few. Let's right the terrible injustice of the Land Enclosure Acts. Let's reclaim the countryside from the fascist landowners, let's do it now!
Sophie Stevens, London UK

The best way to get adults and children to exercise regularly is to build more houses with gardens. There is easily enough money and space, even on this small and overcrowded island, to build every family a decent sized bungalow with a garden. Let all the people of our nation breath, not just a privileged few. Let's right the terrible injustice of the Land Enclosure Acts. Let's reclaim the countryside from the fascist landowners, let's do it now!
Anonymous, Manchester UK

To all those people who work 60 hours a week and exercise for an hour everyday, I would like to know who cleans your house, cooks your food and pays your bills. Who takes care of all the crummy details in your life so you can go out and actually have a little fun doing what you enjoy. Frankly I would love to exercise and take time for myself to enjoy life, but between working full time, taking graduate classes and taking care of a home and a family, I'm lucky to have time to sleep. I apologize if I sound a little bitter, but I am one of the overweight, out of shape people taking care of the crummy details of life and I'm not having any fun. At all.
Faye, Pennsylvania

I think yes we really need a lot of exercise, I agree
Julie, San Francisco.

I can't imagine a better way to spend an hour.
Steve, USA
A couple of years ago, one of my teenage sons and I started going to the gym or running in the park together. In addition to the benefits of weight loss, better health, etc. for both of us, it has turned into the highlight of the day for other reasons. Namely it's the best chance my son and I have to talk at length about important topics that seem hard to discus in other settings. These topics range from girls and sex to science and politics. Now not only have we lost a bit of weight, I have also found a way to break through that sullen teenage attitude. I can't imagine a better way to spend an hour.
Steve, USA

Please please exercise, I am heartily sick of looking at fat bloated people and their kids everywhere
Par Walsh, Luton England

In a culture of conveniences, it is easy to fall into an inactive lifestyle. What's important to remember is our bodies were designed to be used. We need to be active to be healthy. Over exercise will strain and wear on your body, and no exercise will have adverse health effects. Sooner or later, it will all catch up with you. Your health is your responsibility and not anybody else's. Be reasonable and use your common sense.
Arek, Edmonton, Canada

The US is number one in obesity. We have 10 year old kids with 25% arterial blockage. Put down the video games. Yes, we surely need to exercise more.
Vic, chicago, USA

I actually don't have time to exercise except the occasional swim
Sarah, Farnborough, UK
Oh you work 40 hours a week? Well I work 40 hours a week, help run a Cub Scout pack, a Guide company and a church youth group, go to church services and bible study, play the violin/viola in three local orchestras, and have a social life and so no, I actually don't have time to exercise except the occasional swim. So what if you go to the gym, does that contribute to society? Watching soaps? I don't have time for them!
Sarah, Farnborough, UK

From all of the reports I read, the government wants us to exercise more but my 12 year old has p.e. 2 days a week for 30 minutes and what does he do? He learned how to juggle pastel scarves...I exercise an hour per day and all children should have the same opportunity.

Children's bodies will re-act the same as an adult, if they sit at a desk for eight hours a day with limited activity, the get fat and lazy. If the government would take as much stock in the physical fitness test scores as much as they do the math test scores we would not have this problem. To answer the question, yes as a whole most people need more exercise!
Eva Miller, Tennessee, USA

I am in work at 8am every morning, work 12 hour days, 6 days a week and usually a couple of hours on the weekend, meaning over 70 hours a week (I am a PhD student - they don't regulate our hours).

However, I go to the gym for an hour or so every night. Before I did this (I started in the New Year), I would get home from work and sit in front the TV and be exhausted. Now I exercise I get home and feel much more relaxed, sleep far better, my boss says my work has noticeably improved, and my social life has benefited. I never thought exercise would be so beneficial.
Joanna, Norwich

Complaining about lack of gyms or insufficient time is admittance of laziness
Nick, London
It's not surprising people who are fitter have been accused of being smug. They realise its not difficult to exercise and making excuses not to, is pathetic. I work a 55hr week and managed to train for a triathlon of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and then a marathon. And to be honest I was in better condition to work than people 10 years younger than me. Complaining about lack of gyms or insufficient time is admittance of laziness.
Nick, London

I find it shocking that my daughter's state school offers no more than 20 minutes of PE each week. There is no organised school sport and they don't even have a sports day even though the majority of parents would like to have this. I have to pay for all her swimming, gym and cricket activities. So much for encouragement.
Justin, Cambridge

I live in Italy and most people over here are pretty thin. It's virtually impossible to buy junk food and there's a lot of access to sports facilities. When I lived in London I found it difficult and expensive to go swimming.
David Horby, Varese, Italy

There is too much nonsense written about exercise nowadays. My mother lived to 94, drank whisky and smoked when she was younger, never stood when she could sit and often went to bed in the afternoon. She was Scottish and loved pies, bridies, shortbread, etc. Life is for enjoying, albeit everything in moderation, a happy mind is the best defence against ill health.
Joanne Anderson, London

I just cannot imagine my life without sport
Xedice, Baku, Azerbaijan

I do exercises everyday. The results are apparent. I just cannot imagine my life without sport. We must train our body as we train our brain. Because being fit and healthy and flexible, briefly having control over your body always boosts self-confidence. It is never late to go in for sports.
Xedice, Baku, Azerbaijan

People who don't want to exercise won't. It takes a shock to change habits. My parents did very little and both within the last two years have had to have heart surgery. Their physio involved exercise with the warning - if you don't you won't last long. It made me join a gym!
Adrian, Liverpool

Be careful - if we exercise too much the Government will surely find a way of taxing the extra CO2 we'll be generating.
Guy, Cambs

Funny how the Government is now promoting exercise whilst overseeing the large scale selling off of school playing fields.
Kev, Cheshire

I do no exercise at all. I smoke 20 - 30 cigarettes a day. I drink more lager or vodka/red bull than my "recommended allowance". I drive to work (would be a 5 minute walk), I sit at a desk all day, In the evening I usually watch 5-6 hrs of TV, I eat burgers, pizzas, fish and chips, crisps, chocolate etc and very little fruit and veg. I am not overweight (slight beer belly) and have not been seriously ill since childhood (Now 44). A recent medical exam showed normal BP, below average cholesterol and normal BMI. I admit that I could not do a 10 mile run or cycle 40 miles but I don't want/need to so why should I exercise?
Clive, England

What people who don't exercise regularly fail to realise is how much better it makes you feel. I started going to the gym regularly about a year ago, I now feel so much better in myself, I have a lot more energy in the rest of my life and both look and feel better. I realise the gym is not for everyone so find it boring, (though personally I find it's a great time to catch up on the news and think through any projects I'm working on) but there are other forms of exercise like walking which I also enjoy and many sports.
Colin Wright, UK

Fifty years ago, the fat child was the exception, now it's the other way round
John Graham, Edinburgh Scotland

Fifty years ago, the fat child was the exception, now it's the other way round. As a nation we are grossly overweight, its so bad that clothing manufactures have stopped making for the slimmer frame. I don't exercise, but I also don't overeat. At work I use the stairs instead of the lift. The car is for journeys over a mile, otherwise I walk. It's not a lot but I don't have a beer belly and I'm on one notch further up the belt that thirty years ago. You don't have to go to the gym or on faddy diets, just think and be sensible.
John Graham, Edinburgh Scotland

I run 4 miles six times a week, which takes 30 minutes out of each day (i.e. about the same amount of time as watching Coronation Street all week - I can still watch the omnibus edition). It gives me plenty of time to think so is not at all boring. It is possible to exercise mind and body at the same time. In fact, as the mind is the product of physical processes, regular exercise has a positive effect on our mental as well as physical health.
Mathew Judge, Manchester, UK

When I was a young boy at school, we had three hours of PE (physical education)every week. Half an hour on Monday, another half hour on Wednesday and an hour on Friday. These sessions would involve rugby, football, gym routines and a double session of cross-country running which meant two and a half miles. Nobody in the school was fat!
Roger, UK

If we all get healthier and live ten years longer, wont that make the pensions crisis even worse?
David R, Plymouth UK

I get more of a buzz exercising my mind
Paul Connell, Cardiff, South Wales
Frankly, I find exercise boring. Sitting on a exercise cycle or even walking gets boring quickly. I think the stereotype of 'jocks'-sporty types being dumb matches this, they get a buzz doing boring exercise, I get more of a buzz exercising my mind.
Paul Connell, Cardiff, South Wales

Gosh, what a lot of self righteous people there are out there!!
Susie, Newcastle, UK

How to lose weight and get fit in two easy steps. Eat less - exercise more. It ain't difficult!
Alan, Wales, UK

Exercise doesn't have to become such an emotive, almost moral issue. Most people who aren't motivated to exercise just haven't found the type they enjoy enough to want to build it into their lifestyle. For me one of the key things about exercise is more about my mental health than physical. Taking the frustrations of a bad day/lousy commute out on an innocent pavement or swimming pool really helps to keep my head on my shoulders. It also makes me feel a lot more confident too, which spills over into my work life. It's taken a while to find the right balance of activities that keep me interested however and years to get out of the 'I should therefore I shan't' mindset!
Helen Cross, Weybridge, Surrey

If we are too busy to be both physically and creatively active, we are surely too busy
Alex M. Cameron, Oxford, UK
The fact that the Government is making an official recommendation of something past generations have seen as obvious should be a warning sign for our culture generally. If we are too busy to be both physically and creatively active, we are surely too busy.
Alex M. Cameron, Oxford, UK

Does anyone remember when TV remote controls became available? We couldn't believe anyone could be that lazy. Too much science and effort has been devoted to enabling us to do less, and now we see the results. Of course we should exercise more, but I fear that this generation will be too far gone before we re-educate ourselves into doing so.
David, Herts, England

I don't think that all this one-upmanship is all that constructive; most people who do loads of keep fit don't seem to need to sleep - a problem that is not down to laziness on people who need more. The real secret to being fitter is to use the car less. Try walking an extra half an hour (fast walking, you've got to sweat!) a day and it will make a real difference. Personally, I never go to the gym, as I find it boring, but I do train a 6 hours of martial arts at weekends and squeeze in some free-weights training at home (when I'm not to busy being asleep!). But just being generally more active is all that is required.
Joseph, Surrey, England

I am 72 years old. I have had my double bypass surgery a few years ago. I am one hundred percent sure that more exercise makes you feel better. We don't get old; we get rusty. I have a word of advice for women. Those who think they take a lot of exercise by walking from kitchen to the bed room to the garage, by working in the house, are mistaken. Believe me when you take exercise for the sake of exercise, it brings different results and better results. I don't know why, but it does.
Agha Ata, Houston, USA

There is no excuse for not building some forms of exercise into your daily routine. Walk up stairs, walk/cycle to the shops. Get off the bus or tube earlier and walk part of the way. Those who say they have no time, seem to find time to watch TV or go to the pub. It's all a question of priorities - your health, or catching up with latest soap saga.
Ian, London, UK

Cut heart disease, cut obesity, and get some fresh air too!
Tracey, Norwich, England
It must form part of our life. At 37 I have discovered women's 5 a side football and all the training involved with that - and feel so much better and fitter. My eldest son plays football and trains each week, my daughter does ballet, and the youngest joins in whatever the big ones are doing. They always want to play outside, run around and exercise: and Mum and Dad join in. Cut heart disease, cut obesity, and get some fresh air too!
Tracey, Norwich, England

I feel there is a danger here of pushing the attainable boundaries too far. Despite many of the smug comments above from the fitter members of society, it is genuinely hard for someone to entirely change their lifestyle and put fitness in their life. I feel for some, a goal of 30 mins a week, 5 times a week is more likely to dissuade than encourage exercise. The message is good but let's be careful - it is sold in such a way that it is unlikely to be adopted by those would need it most.
Nik, Dover

Most people are lazy. I cycle to work every day, work a full 8 hours, cycle to the stables, see to my horse, ride for about an hour and then cycle home. At weekends I compete on my horse. I'm 39 and I'm fit. Can't stand being inactive, my body feels dreadful. Ok I'm also tired all the time and I don't really watch TV (except Little Britain).
Sue, York, UK

I think that the government should pay for everyone to have a gym membership, or make it free. They should then make it compulsory (unless you have a disability) to exercise at least two hours a week and rig the gym machines up to generators. There you have it - two problems solved! A fitter nation with a new renewable source of electricity!
Thea Planer, Winchester, UK

The government should stop selling playing fields
Liz Morrell, Nottingham
Firstly, the government should stop selling playing fields. Secondly, they should stop trying to fit stupid lessons into the curriculum, making the average lesson 40-45 mins. Sports lessons need longer. Finally, people should stop confusing being tired from work as being tired from exercise. Too many use this as an excuse to go home and veg.
Liz Morrell, Nottingham

Despite holding down a full time job I still manage to train in martial arts five days a week, go swimming twice a week and running at least once per week. I eat healthily and don't smoke or drink yet still have to pay tax towards huge NHS costs partly caused by people who lead an unhealthy lifestyle and do not exercise. If the government were to offer some kind of reward in the form of tax relief to people who do take care of themselves perhaps this would encourage those who don't to make a change for the better.
Scott, Glasgow

We now live in a culture that sees TV sets and videos as part-time babysitters, therefore we are unfit before we are even in our teens. I am the first to admit that I lack motivation for exercise, but the fact that we live in a society in which the pressures of everyday life can run you down, it's not surprising that time out for exercise is not always an option. We all need to set this as a priority, me included!
Marie Wright, Glasgow, UK

Make owning a dog compulsory. This would solve the problems of stray dogs and would mean everyone has to go for a walk three times a day - exercise sorted -hurrah!
Beth, NI

Oh, by the way... the reason people are to tired to do any exercise when they get home is because they are unfit! There is a lot of blaming things on the government here, how pathetic that people do not have control of their own lives and want to blame things on anyone but themselves!
Stu, UK

I just cycle half an hour each way to work and it keeps me perfectly fit
Far too many people seem to think that getting exercise involves going to the gym. I really can't think of anything worse than paying money to suffer in a room full of sweaty people! What's worse is that these people then drive to get there. They would do themselves far more good by simply walking or cycling to the gym and back without actually going into the place! And there would be no petrol expense, and no gym fees! Personally I just cycle half an hour each way to work and it keeps me perfectly fit and feeling refreshed when I arrive at work too.

It's inexcusable that people who live just a 20 minute walk from their work decide to drive (some may have good reasons, of course). Having said that, if they were to all start walking: yes, the roads would be a lot clearer for those that really do need to use them (including buses and ambulances) BUT the pavements would then be filled with people who tend to walk incredibly slowly, so my journey to work would be slowed down... Also, why do people insist on standing still on escalators? They should be a fast way of getting up and down, not an excuse to have a non-earned rest.
Iain, Didcot, Oxfordshire

A lot of people do not realise that there are small things that they can do to up the amount of exercise they do. For example, take the stairs at work instead of the lift. Cycle to work instead of getting in the car. There are many small things people can do, but life has made it easy to be lazy and taking the lazy option is far too tempting and simple.
Robert Shipley, Cardiff, UK

I think business should allow people to come in one hour later 2-3 times a week to allow them time to exercise in the morning. This would only work though if people belonged to a gym, and had to get a card stamped (or something similar) to prove they'd been to the gym. If they don't want to do that, fine - work normal hours. I would do it - currently my gym doesn't open early enough for me to do an hour and still get to work on time (because of getting the train) but if I could I think it would be an excellent way to start the day.
Susan, UK

There are no excuses for not to looking after yourself
Teressa, Wolverhampton
The people against exercise are coming out with the most pathetic reasons to excuse their laziness. I work nine hours a day, five days a week, and it takes me a two hour round trip to drive to work, and back; so I get up every morning at 5.30, and go to the gym for two hours. On a weekend, yes I like to see my partner, so together we go on a bike ride. There are no excuses for not to looking after yourself, and it is not the governments fault that people are incredibly lazy. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Teressa, Wolverhampton

The stress of modern living and the chemical preservatives found in most prepared foods are more likely causes of the public health problems. Exercise can alleviate the effects but it does not actually deal with the causes.
Anthony, Birmingham, UK

Our Council have closed down a very large swimming pool in the town centre and a roller skating rink over the past 10 or so years. But seem to spend most of its energies on the Arts. So let our local councils lead by example if the want their citizens to be fit and healthy.
Jan Andrzejewski, Leicester, UK

Whether you exercise or not is a lifestyle choice. We still have the freedom to choose in this country. Don't we?
Phil, London, UK

30 minutes a few times a week is a small price to pay for a healthier body
Cathy McFerran, Dubai, UAE
Lots of people moaning that they don't have time. A quick walk after work (I work 60 hours a week and still manage it) for half an hour makes a world of a difference. I sleep better, energy levels are better and it stops my backside from saying hello to the back of my knees! 30 minutes a few times a week is a small price to pay for a healthier body in the long run! Go with your partner for a end of day wind down.
Cathy McFerran, Dubai, UAE

I completely agree with the recommendations but am very disappointed that there is no mention of the other key to good health, which is the amount and quality of what you eat. We live in a junk food environment in which we all know that exercise is good and too much bad food is harmful. Advice is not enough, the environment must be tackled, starting with cutting out junk food marketing!
Nigel Baker, Birmingham

Buy a skipping rope and use it. They are inexpensive, and skipping produces great results. Plus you can skip in front of the television etc.
Bel Andrew, London, England

The problem with this country in its attitude towards exercise
Joe Green, London
This morning, coming out of Victoria underground station, there was a queue of people waiting to get on the escalators and a virtually empty staircase next to it. This is the perfect example of the problem with this country in its attitude towards exercise.
Joe Green, London

In an ideal world all the fat, lazy people who can't be bothered to get off their backsides for a bit of exercise would be made to pay extra National Insurance to cover their extra health costs - unfortunately it would be impossible to administer.
John, England

Is it necessary to be smug and self-righteous about the amount of exercise you do? Your correspondents appear to think so!
Dave Brown, London, England

I definitely think people could exercise more
Andy, Preston
As a former gym instructor I definitely think people could exercise more. There is time to do it as well. They just have to turn off the TV and watch less soaps and go for a run instead.
Andy, Preston

I think the only way people are going to get motivated to do any exercise is by firstly understanding why they need to do it, what the benefits of it are and what lack of it can do to you and secondly by actually seeing results when they do exercise. For me I think the second reason clearly motivates me. I feel energised, healthy, active and optimistic when I've done even only an hour of exercise a day and my lean, muscular body is to die for. Try it people!!!
David Hilton, Hudds, UK

I exercise regularly, getting up early to run before work, and trying to walk rather than use the car whenever possible. Why? Not just for my own health, but to set a good example to my two small children. I want them to grow up thinking that taking exercise is a normal part of daily life.
Penny, Cambridge

I train six days a week, every week. It's a part of my routine, as much as eating or sleeping. Without it, I feel weak, lethargic and demotivated. It should be a part of everyone's life, but most people are too lazy, and fool themselves into thinking they "don't have time". Make time, all you need is an hour out of the day.
Damian Leach, UK

If you want to improve the quality of your life then it pays to keep moderately fit, but you don't have to go overboard. I walk the 3 miles to work and back as often as possible and I think this is enough.
Gordon Lewis

I'm far too exhausted to do anything but sit in front of the telly when I get home
Sonia, Bexhill, East Sussex
I will exercise for 30 minutes a day, when the government makes sure the minimum wage is enough for me so I don't have to work full-time 5 days a week. I am currently working 9 to 5, 5 days a week and I'm far too exhausted to do anything but sit in front of the telly when I get home. My weekends are for spending with my partner who I only see for a few hours each day during the week, because I am at work!
Sonia, Bexhill, East Sussex

Yes, the government should stop selling of playing fields!
Michael Ford, Bolton, England

I agree we need more exercise. I recently stopped using the underground and buses to get from my mainline station to work. It's a 5 mile round trip which means I have at least an hour's exercise each day plus more money in my pocket from not using the underground.
Paul Hunmphreys, Essex, UK

It is all very well governments and doctors telling us to exercise more, but where? Gyms etc charge large subscriptions, so we have to work longer hours to afford the fees....It is about time the government put some of our hard earned taxes into public gyms and swimming pools etc.
Jez Quin Smith, London

Tony Blair goes to work in a car and it's only 300 yards! Lead by example?
Dave, Doncaster, UK

Your quality of life will be so much better
Simon Mansell, Penzance, Cornwall
Everyone can make time to exercise, no excuses. If you're that desperate to watch your soap tape it! Why you? Because your quality of life will be so much better, you will get more energy and in the long run you will want to train. If you don't exercise you're not fine. How do I know? I'm a 44 year old diabetic (controlled by diet only) who works full-time, has three kids and still manages to compete in weightlifting up to World championship level.
Simon Mansell, Penzance, Cornwall

I walk to work and back every week day, which takes about 30 minutes in total. I don't go to the gym or do any classes but at 31 (and a smoker) I am still slim and of above average fitness. I enjoy my walk as it gets my blood moving and wakes my brain up. It's also far less stressful than getting stuck in traffic every day!
Clare, Bradford

How about giving everyone free access to sports facilities to encourage the nation to get fit!
D. McGuire

If people want to eat badly, smoke and not exercise, that would be entirely their choice if the rest of us didn't have to pick up the tab when the inevitable health consequences come home to roost. So yes, people should exercise. It doesn't have to mean expensive and inconvenient trips to the gym. You can get adequate exercise at home. 20 minutes jogging or very brisk walking three times a week is painless once you've done it a few times, and is a big step in the right direction.
Ian, Bath, UK

Sadly we live in an age where adults are working longer and longer hours. People don't want to go out and push themselves when they've worked a 10-12 hour day. Maybe if the 9-5 job wasn't such a fallacy these days people would be more likely to spend some recreation time exercising.
Dan, Carlisle, UK

Schools and workplaces should have a compulsory exercise session each day.

Who remembers double games without a shudder?
Mark Jones, Kingston, Surrey
The reason most people do not take exercise is that they are put off it at school by ignorant sadistic bullies (sorry games teachers). Who remembers double games without a shudder?
Mark Jones, Kingston, Surrey

I used to use the excuse of not having enough time (commute/ busy day etc) for not exercising. Best thing I ever did was get a middle-aged dog. He happily sleeps all day whilst I'm at work, but I am obliged to get out of bed an hour early and make time for him in the evenings to walk him. Because of him, I'm fitter than I've ever been, feel more relaxed and have met loads of fellow dog-walkers in my neighbourhood!
Ruth, Scotland

I play badminton twice a week, and go for a walk most dinner hours - although since I have moved offices to the E floor, all those stairs must help as well! Still feel like I should be doing more though
Nicky Howson, Nottingham

I go to the gym and lift weights for 40 mins twice a week, the occasional aerobics class, walk to work twice a week (40 mins one way) and then can do about 20 miles walking at the weekend. All this whilst holding down a full time job. There IS no excuse. People are lazy and our obesity epidemic confirms it.
Jane, UK

Fortunately I live a mile from my town centre, so it is easy to go there by foot. That gives me 15 to 20 minutes each way. It is easy to walk this time of year, when trees and flowers are blooming, and days are lighter. For other times get some decent clothing to walk in all weathers. I laugh to myself when I hear of people driving to the gym, paying twice, for fuel and a gym session.
Simon, England

We should definitely exercise more, you only have to go on any beach in summer and you can spot the Brits, they are the fat, idle ones. Embarrassing.
Penny, Chester

I get enough exercise at my desk between 9am and 5pm
Andy Roberts, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK
More exercise?? I get enough exercise at my desk between 9am and 5pm. You'd be amazed how much effort I expend just using the fingers of my right hand using my mouse. Come 5pm I'm exhausted!
Andy Roberts, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK

The government definitely needs more exercise. They should start running now!
Di Drinkwater, Manchester, UK

I'd like to know where we're meant to get the time to exercise for an hour a day! I work 9 hours a day (including lunch break) and my commute is 90 minutes each way. I can't exercise in my lunch hour because there's no gym/ park nearby, and by the time I get home in the evening, I'm too tired.
Emma, London

I cycle about 15 minutes each way to work, I do karate anywhere from 2-12 hours a week, occasionally yoga, and walk or bike most other places. I find the idea that people can't do 2.5 hours of moderate exercise in a week when I feel rubbish if I don't do 8 hours of heavy exercise astonishing.
Steve, Cambridge



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