Couch to 5k website accessed every 12 seconds at New Year

Getting fit remains a key New Year resolution – with NHS resources playing a key role in delivering effective advice, NHS officials say today.

The NHS is expecting the number of visitors to its beginners’ running programme to quadruple in the first week of January as people set new health and fitness targets.

According to a new analysis, people sign up for the programme at the rate of 300 an hour.

NHS England, which runs the NHS website, said in the first week of January 2023 there were 51,900 visits to the Get running with Couch to 5K page, compared with the weekly average of 14,400 in December 2022.

This 260% increase equates to an average of one visit every 12 seconds across the week, as people with no running experience sought information on how to run 5k in nine weeks.

Visits to NHS advice pages about having a balanced diet and weight management are also expected to increase next month after 2023 saw more than 20,000 visits to the healthy weight page and more 11,000 to the healthy diet page in the first week of January.

Other NHS Live Well pages also see an increase of visits at the start of the new year, including the quit smoking advice page, which saw a 230% rise in visits at the start of January 2023 (41,200) when compared with the December weekly average (12,600).

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said: “Setting yourself healthy and sustainable new year goals can be a good source of encouragement to make positive changes to your lifestyle.

“It’s great to see an increase to the NHS Live Well pages at any time of the year, as NHS advice is there for everyone to support with information about healthy living, exercise, quitting smoking and drinking less alcohol – goals which are much easier to maintain when done gradually and safely.”

A Health Survey for England report published last year showed 64% of adults were overweight in 2021, with 26% classed as obese.

The NHS website is the UK’s biggest health website, with an estimated 2.6 million visits a day in 2022 from people seeking information and advice. It includes more than 4,000 pages and provides information about 990 medical conditions.

[Couch to 5K]

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