Friday, 31 January 2014

Cambridgeshire Turning The Tide Against Physical Inactivity

A national report suggests Cambridgeshire is the top place in the East of England where people are turning the tide against physical inactivity.

However, the independent report, “Turning the tide of inactivity”, from UK Active is also a clear call for people to become more active across the county.

The report details the levels of physical inactivity, both at a national and local level. It suggests out of 11 local authority areas in the East of England, Cambridgeshire is the place where people are the least sedentary with just over 22 per cent population thought to be physically inactive. This compares with Luton, which has around 35 per cent of their population inactive.

According to the report, an inactive person is someone who fails to do 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity within a 28-day period during 2013. The dangers of inactivity include becoming obese and developing chronic diseases, such as, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

In recent years, Cambridgeshire County Council and its partners, the district councils, NHS and Living Sport, have invested in a range of schemes and initiatives for all ages. These include cycle paths, safer routes to school and the Travel to Work partnership, encouraging people to walk and cycle in their leisure time, in their commute or on their way to school. Another key scheme is the County Council’s Public Health team’s ‘Energize’ programme, which is targeted at children aged between 7 and 11 who are above their healthy weight range. The scheme helps them manage their weight and encourages them to exercise.

Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We’re really pleased to see Cambridgeshire is doing well in the region when it comes to inactivity. It is encouraging, but there is more we can do. We will be continuing to work with district councils and other partners to find ways to give people options to take part in physical activity, particularly those who have sedentary lifestyles. The consequences of inactivity are clear – if you are inactive you risk being obese and developing chronic illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.”

County Councillor Tony Orgee, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: “It’s really important that people take on board the message around exercise. By choosing an active and healthy lifestyle you can reduce your chances of a serious illness. We have some excellent facilities in Cambridgeshire and we are the UK capital of cycling. However, getting physically active can be as simple as going for a 30 minute walk and it’s free.”