London - Fitness fanatics may claim to spend an hour exercising at the gym, but 21 minutes of it will be squandered by untangling headphones, checking text messages and other workout distractions, a survey has found.
Constantly filling water bottles, chatting to fellow gym goers, adjusting clothes or choosing music on the iPod also burn up time rather than calories for the average exerciser.
The well intentioned respondents said they spent up to two hours exercising between two and four times a week - an encouraging result given recent research suggests as many as eight in ten adults are not doing enough to keep fit.
However, closer inspection of their gym habits show a typical member wastes around 35 percent of each visit on such habits and only spend 39 minutes of every hour actually exercising, said Harpers Fitness.
The fitness centre chain found up to 55 percent of gym members fiddle with an iPod or MP3 to work out which music they want to to accompany their session.
And 30 percent of regulars take as long as ten minutes to sort out the headphones for their iPod or other device, said the survey of 1 000 adults.
Up to a third (32 percent) admit they regularly interrupt their routines to chat to other gymgoers.
Other habits to emerge from the study include checking phones for emails, texts and missed calls.
Kevin Yates, head of fitness for Harpers, said the time taken to get organised for the gym often eats into the sessions themselves.
He recommended music playlists be sorted out before leaving the house and mobiles turned off completely while at the gym in order to maximise the actual exercise and fitness sessions.
He said: “We wanted to get an idea of what our members are spending time on at the gym - apart from exercise - and this survey has revealed some time-consuming habits.
“Your time at the gym shouldn't be spent untangling headphones, choosing music or checking your phone and we hope this makes gym-goers more aware of the time they spend exercising and the time they spend not exercising.” - Daily Mail