Recession burnout as stressed out workers shun exercise and healthy eating

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK's Run 10k launches 'Take 5 challenge' to help busy people train for the events

The economic downturn is having a detrimental effect on the health, fitness and wellbeing of the nation, according to a new survey released today by Cancer Research UK to launch its Run 10k series.

The findings reveal that a quarter of people (25 per cent) are spending more hours at work compared to this time last year and over half of those that are currently working (56 per cent) admit that work affects the level of exercise they do. Worryingly, a quarter of those currently working (26 per cent) admit they don’t regularly exercise.

In light of these findings, Cancer Research UK has launched the 'Take 5 Challenge' - five easy steps designed to help people incorporate exercise and fitness into their busy lives, redress work/life balance issues and provide great preparation for a Run 10k event this autumn.

The survey shows how job cuts and a looming fear of redundancy are affecting people’s lifestyles. Over half (56 per cent) of those who are clocking up extra hours have an increased workload, while a third (34 per cent) say they are over stretched staff-wise and a quarter (25 per cent) are worried about their job security. More than a third (38 per cent) of workers are unhappy with their work/life balance as they are working too much.

In terms of nutrition, 82 per cent of workers say that being busy at work affects their diet, with 41 per cent of workers going for speed over health when choosing food options. Four out of five (81 per cent) of all adults admit they do not get their five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

The ‘Take 5 Challenge’ easy-to-follow steps, which include tips on extra activity, stretching and hydration, have been designed to help people improve their general health and fitness and get them in the right mind set to take part in a Run 10k. With 43 events taking place across the UK this autumn, Cancer Research UK’s Run 10k series offers people the opportunity to feel good, do something positive and raise money for a great cause.

Cancer Research UK has worked closely with celebrity fitness expert Steve Halsall to create the step-by-step plans, which can be viewed and downloaded at www.Run 10k.org/take5challenge. A plan for the less experienced jogger, as well as an in-depth plan for the more seasoned runner keen to beat their personal best, can be downloaded from the site.

Steve Halsall said of Cancer Research UK’s Take 5 Challenge: "Doing the 'Take 5 Challenge' and making five small changes to your everyday routine, which require little or no extra time, can have a huge beneficial effect on your fitness levels and general well-being, and even show you how easy it is to take that next step and sign-up for a Run 10k this year. Taking part in a Run 10k will also give you that feel-good factor and sense of achievement that is second-to-none!"

Birmingham City Football Club MD Karen Brady, who is backing the 'Take 5 Challenge' adds: "Encouraging a good work/life balance is crucial in keeping morale high and increasing motivation, commitment and engagement. Cancer Research UK’s Run 10k ‘Take 5 Challenge’ encourages people to incorporate health and fitness into their busy lives, which is a great way for workers and their bosses to boost their sense of wellbeing. And by signing up to a Run 10k this year, people will be raising money for a fantastic cause at the same time."

To view and download the 'Take 5 Challenge' plans, please go to www.run10k.org/take5challenge

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For more press information please call the Cancer Research UK PR team on 020 7061 8315

Notes to Editor

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2030 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 22nd June 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About the 'Take 5 Challenge'

The Take 5 Challenge offers a beginners plan: available for the less-experienced runner, alongside an advanced plan for the more developed runner. Each plan covers five easy steps to improve general health and well-being:

  • Commitment
  • Stretching
  • Activity
  • Hydration
  • Attitude

To view or download the 'Take 5 Challenge' plans visit www.run10k.org/take5challenge

About Run 10k

  • Run 10k for Cancer Research UK, supported by Tesco, is a series of 43 events held in stunning and unique locations through the UK this autumn.
  • This year we hope 60,000 men and women will come together to raise just over £6m to help fund Cancer Research UK’s life saving work.
  • For further information about the Run 10K series or details of event locations please visit Run 10k

About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research.
  • The charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has saved millions of lives. This work is funded entirely by the public.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates double in the last thirty years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of more than 4,500 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.
  • For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7121 6699 or visit our homepage.