A national survey, conducted by Sport England in partnership with Public Health England, has found that the concerted efforts of organisations across Cheshire and Warrington has stablised physical inactivity levels in the sub-region.
Results show that 63.6% of Cheshire and Warrington residents are successfully hitting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate level physical activity per week. This means that there are 482,500 people who are classed as ‘active’ in the sub-region. Although a slight decrease from March 2018 results, the difference is not statistically significant and demonstrates levels are being maintained through local efforts.
In October 2017, Cheshire and Warrington’s Physical Activity Task Force, facilitated by local wellbeing organisation Active Cheshire, were thrilled to release the Blueprint to Tackle Physical Inactivity – a local strategy co-created by cross-sector partners to promote a different way of working and improve the health and wellbeing of Cheshire and Warrington residents.
The Blueprint is made up of five focused themes: Active Design, Activators, Active Minds, Active Workplace, and Active Kids (0-11). Already over the past six months, Active Cheshire has seen over seventy businesses, primary schools and early young providers taking a pledge to embed physical activity into their kids and workplace environments through a free active plan.
Already over the past year the Physical Activity Task Force has seen tremendous contributions to each pillar, including a £5 million boost to Active Design and green travel (i.e. cycling and walking) from the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, a pledge to Active Design from Cheshire West and Chester Council, a pledge for an Active Workplace from Cheshire East Council, and investment of £30,000 from Active Cheshire to support projects that used physical activity to prevent or alleviate mental health issues.
“A huge thank you to the wide range of local partners for working together to maintain and stablise our sub-regions physical activity levels,” said Anne Boyd, CEO of Active Cheshire, “these results show us that the efforts of our partners fighting against a culture of convenience is helping to hold strong our position and manage to sustain levels of physical activity in our region.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our hardworking partners for helping to bring this plan to tackle inactivity to life. We have already seen some amazing workplaces, schools, PCSO’s, charities, and more doing their thing to empower others to add movement into their day. It’s fantastic to have you all on board.”
Despite the numbers hitting the recommended goals, there are still 195,500 adults doing less than thirty minutes of moderate level physical activity a week, and missing out on the array of benefits not only to health, but broader social and economic outcomes. Physical inactivity has been shown to have a national cost of approximately £7.4 billion. The challenge in front of us is not only maintaining those who are already active, but also encouraging those classed as inactive to embed physical activity into all aspects of their life and battling against an increasingly convenience-led and sedentary lifestyle.