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Three in ten adults haven’t been swimming for more than 10 years


Three in ten adults haven’t been swimming for more than 10 years because of hang-ups about their bodies, study finds

  • Packed schedules and insecurity to blame for three in ten avoiding swimming   
  • Other reasons include not wanting to use changing rooms and the expense
  • Bizarrely another top reason is not enjoying the feeling of being cold afterwards 

Insecurity has led to three in ten adults avoiding public swimming pools for more than ten years, a study has found. 

Packed schedules and being self-conscious in a bathing suit has meant millions of British adults have not set foot in a public pool for at least a decade.

And three in every 100 adults have admitted to never swimming in a public pool.

Other reasons for not swimming regularly include not wanting to use public changing rooms, exercising in other ways and not enjoying being cold. 

Packed schedules and being self-conscious in a bathing suit has meant millions of British adults have not set foot in a public pool for at least a decade

Packed schedules and being self-conscious in a bathing suit has meant millions of British adults have not set foot in a public pool for at least a decade

The study, commissioned by John West as part of its Get Yourself Shipshape campaign, also found one in five adults have never learnt to swim.

A fifth of the 2,000 adults studied think it is too late for them to start swimming.

And 45 per cent regret not taking swimming lessons at a younger age.

The Get Yourself Shipshape campaign encourages people to make ‘little and often’ changed towards healthy, active lifestyles.   

Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington, said: ‘It’s really surprising how many people in the country are unable to swim, even though people are aware of the many benefits of swimming.

‘For many of us who were taught at a young age, it seems as if we’ve always had the ability – but it’s easy to forget swimming doesn’t come naturally to many people.

‘Even though it’s widely recognised as a fantastic way to get in shape, learning to swim in later years can be really daunting.

TOP 10 REASONS BRITS DON’T SWIM 

1. I don’t have the time

2. I only go swimming on holiday

3. Getting changed before and after is too much of a faff

4. I don’t like wearing a swimming costume in public

5. It’s too expensive

6. I hate being cold

7. I don’t want people to see me in a bathing suit

8. I get enough exercise in other ways

9. I can’t be bothered

10. I don’t feel confident in the water any more 

‘But getting in the water and persevering can see great results, not only in learning how to swim but also getting fit and healthy at the same time.

‘John West’s Get Yourself Shipshape campaign is all about encouraging people to take little, quick and easy steps towards healthy, active lifestyles – and swimming is a great step people can take to get healthier.’

The study found almost 90 per cent agree it’s important for kids to learn to swim as it’s a great form of exercise.

But 71 per cent of adults swim less often now than they did as a child, with one fifth saying they simply ‘don’t have the time’.

Another 13 per cent believe they get enough exercise in other ways, and one in seven think swimming is just too expensive.

It also emerged 14 per cent of those polled would like to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle, but are unsure where to start.

And more than one third admitted to being confused about what is the best way to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

Another 52 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, are also confused about what constitutes a healthy diet.

The Get Yourself Shipshape campaign also sees John West become title sponsors of the Great Swim Series, to help raise the profile of swimming and encourage more people to take it up, as one change they can make towards a healthier lifestyle.

The study found almost 90 per cent agree it's important for kids to learn to swim as it's a great form of exercise. But 71 per cent of adults swim less often now than they did as a child, with one fifth saying they simply 'don't have the time'

The study found almost 90 per cent agree it’s important for kids to learn to swim as it’s a great form of exercise. But 71 per cent of adults swim less often now than they did as a child, with one fifth saying they simply ‘don’t have the time’

Jon Burton, marketing director at John West Foods added: ‘When trying to work out a balanced lifestyle, most people know there are two main points to consider – how much exercise you do, and the diet you put into your body.

‘However, research shows that people are still confused about how to live a healthy, active lifestyle – and swimming is a great place to start.

‘Just like taking up swimming, enjoying fish as part of a nutritious, protein-rich diet could be another little step we can all take.’ 

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