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19 July 2006 PR 06/89

Sunday is day of rest for overweight adults

Overweight people do less walking on a Sunday, according to new research by Loughborough University.

Researchers monitored the activity levels of 122 adults (recruited from the East Midlands and Cornwall) for four weeks, by giving them pedometers.

The findings showed that overweight people did significantly less physical activity on Sunday, compared to the rest of the week, taking about 2,220 fewer steps.

The overweight group took 2,500 less steps on a Sunday than individuals of a normal weight, who were generally more active. The activity levels of the normal weight individuals did not vary depending on the day of the week.

Dr Stacy Clemes, of the Department of Human Sciences at Loughborough University, said: “With the growing problem of obesity in the UK, strategies for obesity prevention and treatment are a high public health priority.

“If GPs and public health campaigns issued simple instructions to at-risk individuals to increase their general activity levels on a Sunday, this could prove to be a subtle but effective strategy in tackling obesity in the UK.”

About 24 per cent of males and females were classed as obese in 2004, compared to 14 per cent of males and 17 per cent of females in 1994.

It is thought that the majority of the population are gaining weight due to the consumption of – or failure to burn off – just an extra 100 calories per day. This is less calories than are found in a small packet of crisps.


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Notes to editors

Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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