Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Spotlight on Inactivity

A report published yesterday in the UK by Professor Sir Liam Donaldson the UK Government's Chief Medical Officer, and the professional head of all medical staff in England, draws attention to the role of inactivity in the nations health.

The report states that "the benefits of regular physical activity to health, longevity, well being and protection from serious illness have long been established. They easily surpass the effectiveness of any drugs or other medical treatment. The challenge for everyone, young and old alike, is to build these benefits into their daily lives"".

Key points
• Inactivity affects 60–70% of the adult population: that is more people than obesity, alcohol misuse and smoking combined.

• The physical fitness of children is declining by up to 9% per decade.

• By increasing the risk of developing more than six major diseases, inactivity poses a significant risk to the population’s health.

• Physical activity tends to decline with age, but this decline is not inevitable.

• The potential benefits of physical activity to health are huge. If a medication existed which had a similar effect, it would be regarded as a ‘wonder drug’ or ‘miracle cure’.

Nice to see this being spelled out so clearly in the media, its getting a lot of publicity in the UK.  The report can be found here and the physical activity section starts on page 20.


Blair, S (2007). 61 Physical inactivity: the biggest public health problem of the 21st Century Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 10, 29-29 DOI: 10.1016/S1440-2440(07)70066-X

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