The importance of being physically active

The importance of being physically active

The world’s leading health experts*1 have cited physical inactivity as the 4th leading risk factor for global health, resulting in more than 3 million deaths each year. Physical inactivity among today’s 11-25 year olds will cost the UK economy £53.3 billion over their lifetimes*2.

The decline in physical activity is partly due to an increase in sedentary behaviours during occupational, leisure and domestic activities. Likewise, an increase in the use of “passive” modes of transport has been associated with declining physical activity levels.

We know that physical activity has a direct impact on life expectancy and has been proven to reduce the risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%. Research shows that physical activity can boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing the risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In Cheshire and Warrington more than 186.200 adults lead sedentary lifestyles, failing to achieve just 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on a weekly basis. 41% of local adults fail to achieve the recommended health target of 150 minutes of physical activity each week*3. With costs of physical inactivity in the subregion spiralling to over £17.5 million*4 per year, there has never been a greater impetus for local agencies to unite and respond to the challenge.

*1 NICE and World Health Organisation.

*2 According to a StreetGames/Cebr report published in April 2014.

*3 Public Health England, public Health outcomes Framework.

*4 Statistics taken from Sport England commissioned data from British Heart Foundation Health Promotion 2009/2010.