An exercise bike at home may seem like a good idea, but will you really use it?

An exercise bike at home may seem like a good idea, but will you really use it?

The intention is there, we buy the fitness equipment in a bid to do it at home, it's more convienient isn't it? Well, not really. 

In a bid to lose weight or tone up, UK adults spent more than £1billion over the last five years on home health and fitness equipment they rarely, if ever, use, according to new research from Nuffield Health.

Three quarters of adults have bought at least one piece of equipment, ranging from treadmills to trampolines, so they can pursue health or fitness goals in the comfort of their own home. However, just 21 per cent of these people use the equipment regularly and double that admit to using it briefly when they first buy it, if at all, and then giving up.

The research suggests that the average home exerciser spends £235 on equipment that doesn’t get results, with each person owning four items on average. Fewer than a third of the 2,000 UK adults surveyed achieved what they set out to and the most common reasons for ditching home health and fitness routines were ‘not seeing benefits’ and ‘preferring to use the equipment in the gym’. In fact one in 10 people hurt themselves using the equipment and had to stop. 

Natalie Mumford, Director of Fitness and Wellbeing at Nuffield Health, comments:

“The good intention to be fit and healthy is important, but without sticking to it, results can be hard to achieve. Exercising at home can be difficult to commit to as everyday life and distractions get in the way.

"Although trends change and the emergence of the Wii generation, who want instant results, is an example of this, the fact remains that it is through hard work and regularity that most people achieve their health and fitness goals. To help make this a reality we advise people to start by making small positive changes to their lifestyle.” 

The survey revealed there are around 82 million items of health and fitness equipment currently in households across the UK, with exercise bikes, weights and workout DVDs proving most popular. Much equipment that doesn’t get used ends up cluttering up attics and spare rooms, while some ends up being put to other uses, including drying washing. One respondent reported having to put up with a disused cross trainer in their dining room because it is too heavy to move.

The three most common reasons for buying equipment were to lose weight, to get fitter and healthier and as an alternative to going to the gym. More than one in 10 admitted to buying items because they got caught up in a fitness trend.

Rachel Davies, a Health Mentor at Nuffield Health’s City Fitness & Wellbeing Centre, said:

“A varied and well-rounded exercise routine and balanced diet are important to maximise your own wellbeing. Staying motivated and achieving your health and fitness goals takes commitment, but if you’re struggling to get started or you’ve been doing the same old  workout for too long then, think about joining our Equipment Amnesty. It is a fun, effective, way to kick start a fitter you. Send us a photo of yourself with your old at-home fitness equipment and download a free pass to try out one of our Fitness and Wellbeing Centres – we have experts on hand to help you.” 

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