Married couples exercise less than singletons

The study, commissioned by the Department of Health in the UK, found that spouses were far less likely to take the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week than singletons or divorcees.

In total only 27 per cent of adults questioned met the exercise guidelines, with women 10 percentage points more likely than men to keep fit, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Of those who did less than the recommended amount of running, cycling, swimming or playing sports, 76 per cent of the men and 63 per cent of the women were married.
By contrast, just 24 per cent of men who failed to meet the guidelines and 33 per cent of the women were single or divorced.

In the survey, carried out by Loughborough University, 100 adults around the country were given accelerometers to wear for two weeks, to track their pace, and asked to complete a questionnaire about their activity levels.

Dr Len Almond, of St Mary's University College who helped develop the adult activity guidelines, said: "Because married people are often older and have more responsibility for children and other factors, it could be these responsibilities which are curtailing their activity patterns.

"Weekends are a golden opportunity to take the family out -- especially for married families -- to get out and enjoy a natural environment, which has also been shown to have additional benefits."

Academic research published last year showed that married couples were twice as likely to be obese than their single counterparts.

It was suggested that husbands and wives "let themselves go" as they enjoy more comfortable lifestyles, spending more time in front of the television and having sex less frequently than singletons.

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