Skip to main content

Together we are beating cancer

Donate now

Recession burnout as stressed out workers shun exercise and healthy eating

The Cancer Research UK logo
by Cancer Research UK | News

21 July 2009

0 comments 0 comments

Cancer Research UK’s Run 10k launches ‘Take 5 challenge’ to help busy people train for the events

The economic downturn is having a detrimental effect on the health, fitness and wellbeing of the nation, according to a new survey released today by Cancer Research UK to launch its Run 10k series.

The findings reveal that a quarter of people (25 per cent) are spending more hours at work compared to this time last year and over half of those that are currently working (56 per cent) admit that work affects the level of exercise they do. Worryingly, a quarter of those currently working (26 per cent) admit they don’t regularly exercise.

In light of these findings, Cancer Research UK has launched the ‘Take 5 Challenge’ – five easy steps designed to help people incorporate exercise and fitness into their busy lives, redress work/life balance issues and provide great preparation for a Run 10k event this autumn.

The survey shows how job cuts and a looming fear of redundancy are affecting people’s lifestyles. Over half (56 per cent) of those who are clocking up extra hours have an increased workload, while a third (34 per cent) say they are over stretched staff-wise and a quarter (25 per cent) are worried about their job security. More than a third (38 per cent) of workers are unhappy with their work/life balance as they are working too much.

In terms of nutrition, 82 per cent of workers say that being busy at work affects their diet, with 41 per cent of workers going for speed over health when choosing food options. Four out of five (81 per cent) of all adults admit they do not get their five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

The ‘Take 5 Challenge’ easy-to-follow steps, which include tips on extra activity, stretching and hydration, have been designed to help people improve their general health and fitness and get them in the right mind set to take part in a Run 10k. With 43 events taking place across the UK this autumn, Cancer Research UK’s Run 10k series offers people the opportunity to feel good, do something positive and raise money for a great cause.

Cancer Research UK has worked closely with celebrity fitness expert Steve Halsall to create the step-by-step plans, which can be viewed and downloaded at www.Run A plan for the less experienced jogger, as well as an in-depth plan for the more seasoned runner keen to beat their personal best, can be downloaded from the site.

Steve Halsall said of Cancer Research UK’s Take 5 Challenge: “Doing the ‘Take 5 Challenge’ and making five small changes to your everyday routine, which require little or no extra time, can have a huge beneficial effect on your fitness levels and general well-being, and even show you how easy it is to take that next step and sign-up for a Run 10k this year. Taking part in a Run 10k will also give you that feel-good factor and sense of achievement that is second-to-none!”

Birmingham City Football Club MD Karen Brady, who is backing the ‘Take 5 Challenge’ adds: “Encouraging a good work/life balance is crucial in keeping morale high and increasing motivation, commitment and engagement. Cancer Research UK’s Run 10k ‘Take 5 Challenge’ encourages people to incorporate health and fitness into their busy lives, which is a great way for workers and their bosses to boost their sense of wellbeing. And by signing up to a Run 10k this year, people will be raising money for a fantastic cause at the same time.”

To view and download the ‘Take 5 Challenge’ plans, please go to


For more press information please call the Cancer Research UK PR team on 020 7061 8315