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Sundays - a Day of Rest but only if You are Overweight

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

This month, research published in the International Journal of Obesity has revealed that overweight people tend to be less active than their slim counterparts – but only on a Sunday!

Scientists from Leicestershire recruited 122 adults and gave them a step counter to wear every day for four weeks. Interestingly, there was no difference in the number of steps taken on weekdays and Saturdays by overweight and normal weight adults. But on Sundays, overweight people took significantly fewer steps than those who were slim. In fact, overweight adults took, on average, 2,221 fewer steps on Sundays compared to other days of the week.

The researchers suggest this new discovery can be used to encourage overweight people to become more active on a Sunday.

WLR says:

This is a really interesting piece of research and it would be great to see if the same results were found with a larger number of people taking part.

Many dieters have a ‘day off’ from dieting once a week, but this study indicates they may also have a ‘day off’ from exercising, suggesting that they find being active a chore rather than a pleasure. Sunday’s are usually the one day of the week when most of us actually have more time to be active – and get all the family involved.

Here are some fun ways to boost your activity levels at the weekend…

  • Round up all the family and go for a swim – take it in turns with your partner to look after younger children in the shallow end so that you both have an opportunity to swim some lengths.
  • If you’re planning a pub lunch, dig out your bikes and cycle there and back – it’ll also mean you can’t drink too much calorie-packed booze!
  • Go for a stomp in the park, woods, on the beach – whatever is nearby. If you have to drive to get there, pack a flask of coffee or tea and leave it in the car for when you get back so you have something to warm you up if the weather is chilly.
  • Take the opportunity to leave the kids at home with your partner for an hour and do an exercise class at your local sports centre. Many centres offer aerobics, step, yoga, circuit training, boxercise or pilates on a Sunday morning – and you don’t have to be a member to take part.
  • Take up a new team sport such as football, netball or hockey. Many matches are played at the weekend. If you don’t want to let everyone else down, you’ll feel obliged.

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