Do more exercise? I’d rather die!

BHF reveals new survey results as it launches TV advert

Only 38% of Brits would be motivated to do more exercise if their life depended on it (1), a survey for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) reveals today. The shocking results come as the charity launches a dramatic new TV advert encouraging people to be physically active.

The advert hits our screens as the nation’s activity levels deteriorate: only a third of Brits achieve the minimum recommended amount of exercise (2). And recent BHF statistics show that someone dies every 15 minutes as a direct result of physical inactivity (3).

The inspirational, uplifting TV advert opens with a lone drummer picking up the beat of the city, and then shows other people taking part in a range of activities in time to their heartbeat. The advert is part of a wider campaign called The Beat.

During the advert, we are told that if we up the tempo of our heartbeat for 30 minutes a day, we could reduce our risk of heart disease by half (4). It aims to motivate people to think about their heart health and take positive action.

The advert will run on all major TV channels for three weeks from today. An interactive website, a podcast and a free motivational text message service will also give a helping hand to people who want to get active.

Dr Mike Knapton, Director of Prevention and Care at the BHF, says: “This is a deadly serious issue. With our busy lifestyles and labour-saving devices, we’ve stopped getting the exercise our bodies desperately need.

“For many people, exercise has become an ugly word, something to avoid at all costs - but you’d be amazed how easy it is to up the tempo of your heartbeat. Just 30 minutes a day will do you and your heart the world of good. The BHF is trying to show people that it can be fun too."

The YouGov poll of more than 2,100 UK adults also shows that brisk walking is the nation’s favourite way of getting exercise, with over a quarter of Brits favouring the activity over dancing, swimming or going to the gym.

The results also show that over half of people asked would prefer to exercise either alone or with their partner, while just 5% chose David Beckham as their ideal workout buddy.

TV presenter Julia Bradbury (Watchdog, Wainwright’s Walks, Climb Britain) is a keen walker and says: “To keep your heart healthy, regular exercise is vital, and if you can't build in a rigorous time consuming exercise regime, then you need to work exercise into your daily life.  

“Walking is a great way to keep fit.  I walk wherever I can, whenever I can. I'm also extremely lucky that some of my work involves walking as part of the job. My recent fell-walks through the beautiful Lake District were uplifting for both body and mind.  I even overcame my fear of heights to attempt rock climbing and that really got my heart beating.  

 “But it doesn’t have to be scary!  You can increase your heartbeat with anything from gardening to housework.  Go on, give it a go and you’ll find out just how easy it is.”

The minimum recommendation for good health is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five times a week. But the BHF encourage people to do more than this by keeping active every day, and at a higher intensity where possible.

Visit to get inspired and get active.

For more information, to speak to an expert, get more stats or case studies, contact the BHF press office on, 020 7487 7172 or 07764 290381 (out of hours). 


Notes to editors

- The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the nation’s heart charity, dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information. But we urgently need help. We rely on donations of time and money to continue our life-saving work. Because together we can beat heart disease.

-For more information on the BHF, visit 

Top Tips

    * The 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity can be broken in to two 15 minute sessions if easier
    * The activity should make you feel warmer and breathe harder if it’s to benefit your heart. You can work out harder than this for even more health benefits.
    * Take The Beat questionnaire online to see how you fare on the exercise stakes and find out what your goal should be – just visit
    * Get motivational text messages sent to your mobile phone on a time and day of your choice - visit to find out how
    * Download The Beat Podcast for fun and informative tips - visit

Top Stats

    * One in seven (15%) Brits said they’d exercise more if the weather was better.

    * While 8% of women said that doing vigorous housework was their favourite form of exercise, only 1% of men agreed.

    * 17% of women said their main reason for exercising was to keep their figure but only 7% of men said their shape was their main motivator.

    * Men were more concerned about their heart health, with 13% saying it was their main reason for exercising. Only 7% of women saw heart health as a major motivator.


(1) YouGov survey of 2,154 UK adults, August 2007

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,154 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29th - 31st August 2007.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

(2) Coronary Heart Disease statistics 2007, British Heart Foundation, July 2007

(3) The burden of physical activity-related ill health in the UK, Allender S, Foster C, Scarborough P, Rayner, M. J Epidemiol Community Health 2007;  61: 344-8

(4) A meta-analysis of physical activity in the prevention of coronary heart disease. Berlin JA and Colditz G, (1990) American Journal of Epidemology, Vol. 132, No.4 pages 612-628).

Healthcare Republic does not have an editorial influence or input in to these press releases. The views expressed within these documents are not endorsed by Healthcare Republic or Haymarket Medical Publications Limited.

Enquiries should be directed to any contacts listed within the press releases.


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