Government to tackle physical activity

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The Government is to promote a new physical activity campaign across the country to ensure the legacy of London 2012.

‘Moving More, Living More’ will build on learning from the world’s most active countries, that action on physical activity needs to be a long term effort and is best tackled through a team approach across government and all sectors.

The Government has already put in place a wide range of measures to help people become more active, but the Government and Mayor of London want to go further and encourage more initiatives like the one being led by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), who are working with the Swimathon Foundation to get children swimming.

According to the 'Moving More, Living More' report, there is a huge range of opportunities for people to get active, yet despite this, a large proportion of the UK population remains inactive and the situation is not improving.

Only 56% of adults meet the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) guidelines of 150 minutes of physical activity per week, and 28.5% of adults fail to achieve even 30 minutes of physical activity over seven days.

The proportion of people not meeting physical activity guidelines is greater in children (only 21% of boys and 16% of girls aged 5 – 15 are achieving 60 minutes of physical activity a day) compared to the proportion of adults not accumulating 150 minutes of physical activity a week.

And for very young children even worse – only 9% of boys and 10% girls aged 2 – 4 meet the CMOs’ guidelines3. Across the country and across the age groups the overall levels of activity are low and all areas have potential for improvement.

Prime Minister, David Cameron said: “We need to provide communities with the encouragement to come together and realise the physical and social benefits of being more active. Government, Local Government, business and community groups must now join together to help make this ambition a reality.”

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison, said: “The Olympic and Paralympic legacy has already delivered good results with over 1.5 million more people doing sport once a week than when we won the bid to host the Games. By working together we can achieve more and make sure that getting more people moving is the biggest legacy of London 2012."

The report recommends that the UK must learn from international examples whilst ensuring our approach is tailored to our particular challenges and opportunities.

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