Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds calls on Brits to get into the pool

26 March 2013

Four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds is calling on people to get out of their seats and into the pool, after a new survey revealed that 23% of people in Britain spend at least an average of 2.4 days of their working week sitting down. This equates to 2,760 hours or 115 days a year.

The research commissioned by the British Gas SwimBritain campaign found that people in London are the most likely to be chained to their chairs, with 32% sitting for an average of at least 11.5 hours in a working day. While only 18.4% of Midlanders spend this amount of time sitting down. Nearly 79% of people surveyed said they would like to be more active.

Simmonds, who launched the report today alongside six-time swimming world champion Mark Foster, said: “I’m shocked that so many people spend so much time sitting down, though most of them do say they’d like to be more active.  So I’m trying to encourage people to join the British Gas SwimBritain campaign and set themselves the challenge of swimming regularly.

“Swimming is great for most people as it gets your heart pumping with little strain on the body, so all those people who want to be more active should give it a go.”

British Gas wants to help create a healthier nation and get half a million more people swimming regularly by 2015. SwimBritain is a fun swimming relay challenge for teams of four, in the pool or open water.

Foster said: “Many people spend long hours at work sitting down so it’s really important that they try and get regular exercise. It is difficult for many people to get motivated, so SwimBritain will give them a goal and offer support along the way.

“As well as the health and fitness benefits, swimming is refreshing, relaxing and liberating. It’s a great escape from the stresses of work and every day life.”

The SwimBritain survey also investigated how much people knew about the benefits of swimming. More than 1 in 5 people weren’t aware of any of the key benefits, such as the fact that a gentle swim can burn over 200Kcal in half an hour. 55.7% of people surveyed said they would be more motivated to swim after finding out this information.

British Gas Commercial Director, Will Orr said: “British Gas has been working in partnership with British Swimming since 2009 and we are passionate about getting more people to swim regularly. We are very excited about our SwimBritain campaign which is launching this spring and we hope people all over the country will get together with friends and family and enjoy taking part.”

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