One of the questions we are most regularly asked at buddyboost is ‘Why 26?’
Another is “Why a bear and a turtle?” but we’ll stick with the former for now. So, why 26 minutes of daily physical activity?
It’s not because 26 is a number associated with marathons. Nor is it because you can listen to S Club 7’s ‘Reach’ six times in 26 minutes – although that is an added bonus. It turns out, it’s because 26 minutes is just what the doctor ordered.
And not just any doctor. According to the UK’s Chief Medical Officers, we should all be doing at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week. Their 2019 report states: “This threshold has been widely adopted internationally. For good physical and mental health, adults should aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still.”
If you do 26 minutes every day, you’ll get to 182 minutes. Miss one day, and you’ll still hit your weekly target, clocking up 156 minutes.
The CMO report also points out that a target of 150 minutes should be within reach for most people.: “150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week is likely to be achievable for many people, when environments are accessible and inclusive.” This is particularly true when you break it down into manageable 26-minute chunks.
There is also something significant about it being less than half-an-hour. We’ve found that 26 minutes is psychologically much less intimidating for people who aren’t used to exercising much and that it feels easier to squeeze into a busy day.
In short, 26 minutes is just the job; it’s achievable; and it sticks in your mind, doesn’t it?