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Fitbit teams with Sport Relief to help Brits get fit

This post was originally published on the Fitbit press site. It has been adapted from its original format.

Fitbit, the leader in the connected health and fitness market, today announced StepsforGood, a charity initiative in partnership with Sport Relief aimed to get Brits moving, following a study which revealed declining fitness trends of the nation. As part of the campaign to motivate the nation, Fitbit has launched the Big Billion Step-a-thon – where anyone with a Fitbit account can sign up, get fit, and put their steps toward a good cause. To further encourage participation, Fitbit will donate up to £500,000 to support underprivileged people in the UK and around the world.

A new survey by Fitbit revealed that New Year’s resolutions to improve health and fitness are actually on the decline, with only half of Brits committing to them this year:

  • A third (34%) of the Brits who did set goals, gave up within a month of starting
    • The most likely to throw the towel in on the first day were the Northern Irish (25%) followed by Geordies (14%) and Londoners (12%)
    • Meanwhile, the Welsh were the most committed, with more than half (58%) achieving their goals, followed by the South West, East of England and Yorkshire and the Humber (all 54%); but the most committed city in the UK was Bristol (77%) followed closely by York (75%), Bath (63%), Cardiff and Bradford (60%)
      In a bid to get the UK moving more this February, Fitbit has pledged to donate £1 for every 20,000 steps taken by participants of the Big Billion Step-a-thon, which could be just the encouragement Brits need. While most people are aware of the benefits of being more active, exercising more, eating smarter, sleeping better and managing their weight, many find these activities time consuming and difficult to achieve:
  • Constant hunger pangs, stress at work and wanting to socialize with family and friends were cited as the top three reasons for people sacking off their resolutions
  • Half of those surveyed haven’t walked for 30 minutes at a time in at least a week, and one in 10 can’t even remember the last time they did
    • More than one in 10 Brits confessed they don’t walk anywhere out of sheer idleness, with the under 44s being the worst culprits
    • A fifth of this demographic cite their impatience as the main reason for not walking anywhere - as it just takes too long

“Sport Relief is a fantastic charity and the perfect partner to bring together and inspire our communities to get more active and commit to their health and fitness resolutions for a good cause,” said Gareth Jones, VP and General Manager for Fitbit EMEA. “By helping people see how small changes can add up to big results, Fitbit makes the path toward health and fitness fun, engaging and sustainable. After discovering that a third of respondents in the UK who make health and fitness resolutions tend to give up within a month, we’re challenging Brits to see how every step counts toward the 5 billion goal of the Big Billion Step-a-thon.

Regional Health and Fitness Trends Across the UK

The survey of health and fitness habits exposed several interesting trends across Britain, including the regions that are already getting their steps in, and how people fit fitness into their lives:

  • Keenest walkers
    • The regions of the North West and London are getting the most daily exercise through walking; with 68% of Mancunians, 64% of Londoners and 55% of Scousers walking for more than half an hour a week, if not daily
    • In contrast, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the South West are the most sedentary areas with 64% of Londonderry citizens, 32% of Dundonians and 27% of Bristolians admitting they cannot even recall their last 30-minute stroll
  • How Brits are keeping fit
    • Half of the UK (49%) would prefer to burn calories by hoovering, dusting and ironing for two hours rather than participating in any organized exercise
    • Almost a fifth (17%) would rather run around after their children for the day than exercise at a gym
    • Furthermore, half of Londoners, residents of Yorkshire and the Humber prefer to walk up and down the stairs at work rather than spend 30 minutes working out.

“Incorporating more steps into your routine is an ideal way of keeping fit when you lead a busy lifestyle,” advised Professor Greg Whyte, fitness expert and Fitbit Ambassador. “Don’t discount the steps you take when cleaning the house, taking the children to school or on your commute – they all count. You can also try getting off the bus a stop early, taking walking meetings or committing to doing something for a good cause, such as Sport Relief.”

How to Join the Big Billion Step-a-Thon

  • Starting today, anyone in the UK with a Fitbit account, can register for the Big Billion Step-a-thon.
  • If you don’t have a Fitbit device, you are invited to participate by using MobileTrack on the free Fitbit app on your Android, iOS or Windows device. In addition, anyone without a Fitbit device will be given the option to purchase one during the sign up process.
  • The challenge will run from February 1-March 31, 2016, or until the step count is reached, during which time participant steps will count toward the 5 billion step goal.
  • At the end of the StepsforGood, Fitbit will donate up to £250,000 from the Big Billion Step-a-thon to Sport Relief, along with up to £250,000 from the sale of Fitbit Flex, Fitbit Charge HR, and Fitbit Blaze trackers.

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