18 April 2017
- Workers spend an average of 28 minutes on foot during their commute
- But 1 in 8 workers (12%) say it is the most they move all day
- They admit their commute is more active than their sex life
More than three million commuters are clocking up a marathon (26.2miles) every fortnight just getting to and from work, according to Macmillan Cancer Support[i].
Research by the charity found 1 in 9 (11%) workers spend more than 40 minutes a day walking as part of their commute - including between underground or train platforms, climbing escalators and getting to railway stations, bus stops and the office[ii].
This equates to an estimated 3.5 million people in the UK[iii] making up a daily distance of 2.6 miles commuting – the equivalent of a marathon (26.2 miles) every fortnight[iv].
The survey of 1,221 workers found UK commuters spend an average of 28 minutes on foot a day - including eight minutes standing, 12 minutes walking, five minutes climbing stairs or escalators - and even three minutes running.
Public transport users’ commutes are so energetic it brings around 1 in 5 (22%) workers out in a sweat and 1 in 8 (12%) get out of breath, while 1 in 4 (25%) say it feels like a workout[v].
But for nearly 1 in 8 (12%) employees it is the most they move all day – making their commute more active than their sex life and their job[vi].
In fact, 1 in 5 (19%) of those who say their commute is the most active part of their day admit to then spending up to eight hours sat down at work.
And back at home, workers spend even more time in their seats – clocking up nearly two and a half hours (149 minutes) watching TV and more than two hours (127 minutes) checking personal emails, social media and trawling the internet[vii].
The ICM poll was commissioned by Macmillan Cancer Support to encourage people to get more active for OutRun May - a challenge to set a personalised target of miles to run throughout the month to raise money for the charity.
Goals are personal to every individual taking part and can be reached by walking or jogging outside or in the gym, so the challenge can be tailored to all fitness levels and schedules.
Macmillan Cancer Support’s national events manager Lisa Shorter said: “Many people dream of being able to do a marathon and this shows commuters are actually much more active than they may realise.
“But after an energetic commute, we can see many workers are spending the rest of their day sat down, both at work and at home.
“We’re encouraging commuters to build on their, perhaps unexpected, daily exercise with OutRun May by setting themselves a goal of miles to run across the 31 days and achieving it one run at a time.
“If workers can do a marathon every fortnight without even realising it, we can’t wait to see what they can do when they set themselves a goal.”
To sign up or for more information, visit www.out-run.org.uk
For further information, please contact:
Laura Routledge, Media and PR Officer (Fundraising), Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7091 2063 (Out of hours: 07801 307 068)
Notes to Editors:
[i] Macmillan Cancer Support/ ICM online survey of 2,096 UK adults. Fieldwork undertaken 22nd-24th March 2017. Survey results are weighted to be representative of the UK population.
[ii]Research asked workers how long they spend walking and walking up escalators or stairs on their commute. 11% said they spent 41 or more minutes doing these things in total.
[iii] Estimate based on ONS data for October to December 2016 that showed that 31 million people are working in the UK. We have worked out 11% of 31million by dividing it by 100 and multiplying it by 11.
[iv]Estimate based on the average walking speed being 3.14mph. This was divided by 60 and multiplied by a midpoint of 50 minutes to work out how far commuters walk in average in that time. The answer, 2.616, was multiplied by 10, the number of working days in a fortnight. The answer, 26.16, was rounded up to 26.2 miles.
[v] Research asked workers if they did the following on their commute – break into a sweat, feel like they are doing a workout and feel too out of breath to hold a conversation. This is the net result for workers who commute by bus, train and underground for a percentage of public transport commuters who did these things.
[vi] The research asked workers what the most active part of their day was. 12% said commuting, instead of their job or in bed with their partner. 5% said being in bed with their partner, which we have described as their ‘sex life’.
[vii] The research asked commuters how long they spent using their computer for personal use and we have pulled out these examples of the kind of thing this would involve.
About OutRun May
OutRun May is a running challenge with a difference. One that pushes you to run further for 31 days, outrun your own expectations and raise money for people affected by cancer.
Whether you’re pounding the pavements or tearing up the treadmill, every mile matters. You set a target distance for May, then push yourself out of your comfort zone to achieve it – one run at a time. It’s a challenge you can fit around you and tailor to your own fitness levels. Just set up a fundraising page and ask friends and family to sponsor you to OutRun May.
By pushing yourself to run further for 31 days, you’ll be helping Macmillan provide vital services to people affected by cancer.
One month, one goal, and one amazing way to change the lives of people affected by cancer. Sign up today at www.out-run.org.uk
About Macmillan Cancer Support
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.
That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.
To get involved, call 0300 1000 200 today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk