Physical Inactivity, as a major public health issue, is commonly associated with increased risk of obesity, CHD, hypertension, osteoporosis, cancer, depression and anxiety. Concurrently, physical activities have been identified as having both a physical and a mental health benefit; for example, evidence has shown that the risk of developing stroke and type 2 diabetes is reduced by up to 50% and premature death by 20-30% in people who are physically active (CMO 2004 report ‘At Least Five a Week’).
The recommended level of physical activity to achieve health benefits (at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on five or more days per week, which can be accumulated across the day) is currently not achieved by approximately two-thirds of the East of England. In addition, the recommendations for children are 60 minutes every day. The wide spectrum that physical activity encompasses provides the base for encouraging a more active lifestyle across the lifespan:
- Everyday activity (whether this be active occupation or active living for example active travel, opportunistic activity such as walking to the shops and carrying the shopping home or household tasks/hobbies such as housework, gardening or DIY)
- Play (both unstructured and organised)
- Active recreation (recreational walking and cycling, dance)
- Sport (either formal or recreational)
For example, the creation and provision of environments that encourage and support physical activities offers perhaps the greatest potential to get the region active. In addition, ensuring full, and wherever possible consistent, evaluation across initiatives will be critical to monitoring successful outcomes.
This website brings together a collection of resources with the aim of helping increase the numbers of people who are physically active to a level which can benefit their physical and mental health. It includes information about the new regional physical activity alliance (formerly known as PAIGE), national and regional policies/plans/strategies, research/data/evidence, participation levels, latest news/events/training opportunities, sources of funding, key contacts/links and much more.
Information will be updated as new material becomes available.