BRITS spend twice as much time sitting on the toilet as they do exercising, the NHS chief has revealed.
Couch potato lifestyles are fuelling the nation’s obesity crisis, putting extra strain on already stretched hospitals.
British adults spend an average of three hours and nine minutes on the toilet each week, compared to just one hour and 30 minutes exercising, according to a 2017 study.
More than a quarter of adults do even less exercise, admitting to only being active for 30 minutes a week.
That’s far less than the 150 minutes of moderate exercise the NHS recommends we do each week.
Simon Stevens warned the fat epidemic will see hospitals increasingly swamped by patients with diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
He urged people to ditch their couch potato lifestyles and eat better – for their own wellbeing and that of the NHS.
Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference in Manchester, Mr Stevens said: “It’s absolutely true that we need to be more physically active.
“But that by itself is not going to deal with what’s happening to our food and drink and calorific environment.
“Here’s a key fact for you, on average in this country we spend twice as much on the toilet a exercising.”
The stats come from a 2017 poll of 2,000 adults carried out by not-for-profit UKactive.
Professor Sir Muir Gray, NHS chief knowledge officer, said: “Physical inactivity is society’s silent killer and even short bouts of being sedentary can lead to deadly diseases.
“People often think exercise is only for young people, but older adults are the people who stand to gain most from the mental, social and physical benefits of being active.”
Obesity levels in the UK have more than trebled in the last 30 years and, on current estimates, more than half the population could be obese by 2050, according to the NHS.
About 27 per cent of the UK population is considered obese and a further 34 per cent are considered overweight, according to the latest Government statistics.
Being overweight significantly increases your risk of obesity related disease including heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and 11 different types of cancer.
According to the World Health Organisation heart disease was the biggest killer in 2016 followed by stroke, both of which were responsible for 15 million deaths worldwide.
They have been the leading cause of death worldwide for the last 15 years, the organisation said.
The most effective way of avoiding an expanding waistline, and remaining healthy, is to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
You should be aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, health bosses say.
A mixture of metabolic exercise, such as running or cycling, combined with two sessions of strength training is the most effective way to remain healthy.
Regular exercise can reduce your risk of major illness like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50 per cent, while also warning off mental illness and Alzheimer’s.
It also lowers your risk of early death by 30 per cent.
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“For the ultimate fat burning boost you have to look at aerobic exercises and strengthening exercises,” dietitian Helen Bond previously told The Sun Online.
“They will increase the calories you burn during the exercise and afterwards as well.
“You really need to do strength training along with that – lifting weights and using your own body weight to build muscle.
“The more muscle you have the fast your metabolism is going to be, you are going to burn more calories, even at rest.”
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