Turning the tide of inactivity

Walking for Health in Reigate

A new report launched today by ukactive reveals the staggering levels of physical inactivity in England and urges the Government to do more to deal with this growing problem.

The report, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and Lord Coe, also champions innovations that are already successfully tackling the issue including Walking for Health, which we run with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Turning the tide of inactivity exposes some startling statistics about the amount of physical activity people currently do and what it’s costing us as a nation. Activities such as walking, cycling, dancing or gardening all contribute to how physically active we are, however the report highlights that 12.5 million people in England are currently failing to raise their heart level for more than half an hour over a 28-day period.

By 2020 the average British person will use only 25 per cent more energy than they would have done had they just spent the day in bed, the report also reveals. As well as the impact on our health, inactivity is also costing England's economy £8.2 billion a year.

The report shows that comparably little is spent on initiatives to increase physical activity. It recommends greater investment in everyday solutions to the crisis and Walking for Health is showcased as an example of a programme which is already happening to help get more people more active.

“The ukactive report is a further demonstration that inactivity is now a major public health concern, akin to smoking, and now is the time to act," said Simon Barnett, Director of Walking Delivery and Development for the Ramblers.

"Now is the time to pull together and develop a cross-party, cross-government and cross-sector national inactivity strategy," added Simon. "As our Walking Works report shows, walking can be one of the easiest ways to help people increase their physical activity levels as it’s a low cost activity which can be built into people’s everyday routine.”