Everybody active, every day
The government report 'Everybody active, every day: An evidence-based approach to physical activity' was published last week by Public Health England (PHE). Intended to act as a framework for national and local action, the report sets out to address the national physical inactivity epidemic; responsible for 1 in 6 deaths and costing the country an estimated £7.6 billion a year.
Nationally the statistics show that over a quarter of women, and over a fifth of men do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week. Tackling physical activity is critical and the message is clear: everybody needs to become more active, every day.
A wealth of evidence shows that an active life is essential for physical and mental health and wellbeing. A number of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, obesity, hypertension and depression, are currently on the increase and affecting people at an earlier age.
The recommendations to make active lifestyles a reality for all include:
- Adults should aim to be active every day. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of ten minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least five days a week.
- Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or a combination of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
- Adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
- All adults should minimise the amount of time spent sitting down for extended periods.
Daily activity may seem like a big challenge, so here are some suggestions of how to be more active in the city:
- Walk – or jog – both are totally free, all you need is a pair of shoes! Get off the bus a stop earlier, take the stairs not the lift, take your meetings outside and walk while you talk.
- Get a pedometer and set yourself the challenge of 10,000 steps a day.
- Check out local community centres for regular classes in your neighbourhood.
- Healthwalks are organised across the city and are a social way of exercising while meeting new people. They are friendly and supportive, so are particularly beneficial to those who are getting little or no exercise, recovering from illness, or lacking in confidence.
- Get involved with a huge range of FREE or subsidised sport and physical activity in your community for all ages and abilities run by Active for Life.
- Volunteer at a community garden. There are over 70 in the city. We can advise you if you aren't sure which one to join. Find one near you.
- It's Local Actually is a service run by the Fed Centre for Independent Living. Type in your postcode and find activities in your area.
And if you want to cheat your way, here's how.
Read the full report here.