One in every 10 adults has not done any physical exercise in the past decade, according to a new survey.
The pressures of modern life have been blamed for a lack of exercise among many of Britain’s adults.
A survey of 2,000 people by the British Heart Foundation found that only a quarter of British adults have been physically active in the last week.
Meanwhile, 21 per cent of participants said the last time they exercised properly was at school, college or university.
And 10 per cent had not taken part in any "real" exercise in more than a decade.
‘Not enough time’
Four out of 10 said that working longer hours meant that they did not have enough time for a regular fitness regime.
And one out of five – 22 per cent - blamed their lack of physical activity on getting married.
Meanwhile, a third said having children had made finding the time to exercise more difficult.
The age at which a person reaches their physical peak was estimated by the respondents to be 26.
Eating a healthy diet, taking part in team sports and going to the gym were all cited as reasons for optimum fitness.
Prioritise physical activity
British Heart Foundation spokeswoman Nancy Prior said: "We are leading increasingly busy lives and it can be difficult at times to prioritise physical activity with family and work commitments getting in the way.
"With over a third of Brits rating good health as the number one attribute to have, we would encourage everyone to make time for regular physical activity to help keep your heart healthy."
Many health insurance policies offer discounted gym memberships as an incentive for their customers to exercise regularly.