24 August 2016
- School cross-country puts millions of Brits off running for life
- 46% of Brits admit that it has been over a decade since they went for a run
Almost half of Brits (46%) admit that it has been over a decade since they ran for exercise, with millions of Brits confirming school cross-country put them off running for life, according to new research by Macmillan Cancer Support.
As well as memories of soggy cross country runs, one quarter of self-conscious Brits said that embarrassment at being watched by other people as they run put them off the sport. 15% of Brits also blamed a lack of time for their lack of engagement in the physical activity.
The survey of 2,000 adults shows that cleaning the house is a more popular form of exercise than running, with 15% in favour of getting the feather dusters out to keep fit.
Although cross country may have put many Brits off running for exercise, 1 in 10 adults admit they would break into a run for the ice-cream van or last orders at the bar.
Macmillan Cancer Support is encouraging Brits to lace up their trainers and embrace running with OutRun September by setting themselves a target for the month and completing it at their own pace.
Participants are asked to set up a fundraising page and seek sponsorship from friends and family to OutRun September. All money raised will help Macmillan provide vital services to people affected by cancer to ensure that no one has to face cancer alone.
Kat Cheshire, Challenge Events Team Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, says: “This research shows that a lot of Brits have been put off running by their experience at school. With Team GB’s success at the Olympics inspiring the nation to get active, now is a great time to forget distant memories of cross country and embrace a running challenge that suits you.
“With OutRun, you can run outdoors or in the gym, on your own or with a friend, and you’re working towards your own target while raising money to support people affected by cancer.”
When asked about signing up to a physical challenge, almost three out of four of those who had signed up for one opted for 10k races, half marathons and full marathons. However, nearly 1 in 10 admitted to giving up before the finish line.
Team Macmillan coach, Phil Robertson, a fitness & biomechanics expert, says: “Signing up to a running challenge can seem a daunting prospect – especially if you feel unfit, out of shape or haven’t taken to the running track since school. Taking on a challenge that is too ambitious for the time and dedication you can give it, can often lead to disappointment and lack of motivation. It’s best to set a challenge that is realistic while still pushing you out of your comfort zone.
“With 21% of respondents saying they run to unwind, OutRun is an achievable challenge that you can fit around your lifestyle, and help you relax and unwind after a busy day”.
One month, one goal, and one amazing way to change the lives of people affected by cancer. Visit http://www.out-run.org.uk/ to find out more.
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Notes to Editors
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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 www.macmillan.org.uk
 Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v 3.0.