By Daniel Hunter

New research destroys the myth of British tradespeople leading unhealthy lives with beer bellies, living off junk food, cigarettes and alcohol. The study from Direct Line for Business suggests tradespeople are amongst the nation’s fittest workers, typically exercising for 16.4 hours each week, over six times the NHS’ minimum recommendation of 2.5 hours exercise per week.

The research shows how 41 per cent (1.1 million) of builders, plumbers and carpenters complete more than ten hours of physical activity a week at work. One in four claimed to complete more than 20 hours a week and the average for all tradespeople was 11.7 hours per week. British tradespeople are also keeping fit outside of work with an additional average of 4.69 hours of physical activity, through working out at the gym and sport.

The research also found that Britain’s 2.8 million tradespeople have considerably healthier diets than originally thought, with only one in fourteen (seven per cent) claiming they consistently eat more than their recommended daily allowance (RDA). In fact, a large number actively watch their waistlines, with nearly one in five (18 per cent) claiming they ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ surpass their calorific RDA.

Indeed, the vast majority of those polled felt positive about their health, with four in five (81 per cent) or an estimated 532,000 tradespeople claiming to lead ‘healthy’ lives.

Jazz Gakhal, Head of Direct Line for Business commented: “Tradespeople are helping to nurse this country’s economy back to health. This research shows that, despite the sometimes negative publicity that surrounds the lifestyle of tradespeople, they are actually setting a great example to the public with their active daily routines. However, while an active lifestyle is encouraged, British tradespeople must consider their business interests too, ensuring they are correctly insured. Tradesmen need to consider their financial health and security along with their physical wellbeing.”

Sonia Ayadi, Nutritional Therapist practitioner at Harley Health, said: “This research by Direct Line for Business is long overdue. As we become more aware of our diet and general health, and with the government constantly raising awareness of healthy eating (i.e. five a day fruits and vegetables), tradespeople have always been amongst the most active workers when compared to the typical office-based professional. Indeed tradespeople will often need support with their diet to make sure they eat enough nutritious foods to sustain their energy levels throughout the day.”

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